1. One that carries messages or performs errands, as:
a. A person employed to carry telegrams, letters, or parcels.
b. A military or official courier.
c. An envoy to another person, party, or government.
2. A bearer of news.
3. A forerunner; a harbinger: the crocus and other messengers of spring.
a. A prophet.
b. Messenger Islam Muhammad. Used with the.
5. Nautical A chain or rope used for hauling in a cable. Also called messenger line.
tr.v. mes·sen·gered, mes·sen·ger·ing, mes·sen·gers
To send by messenger.
[Middle English messanger, from Old French messagier, from message, message; see MESSAGE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.