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fool's errand

A task that has little to no chance of being successful or beneficial. Giving the baby a bath before he eats spaghetti is a fool's errand.
See also: errand

sleeveless errand

A futile task. Studying for this class is a sleeveless errand. I'll never get an A—why should I even try? We like to haze the new chefs by sending them on some sleeveless errand. Usually we have them go to the market for oyster bones.
See also: errand

run an errand

To go out on a short trip to complete a specific task. Can you see if your father can come pick you up? I've been running errands all day, and I don't want to trek across town yet again. I'm just nipping out to run an errand. I'll be back straight away.
See also: errand, run

*on a fool's errand

Fig. involved in a useless journey or task. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) Bill went for an interview, but he was on a fool's errand. The job had already been filled. I was sent on a fool's errand to buy some flowers. I knew the shop would be closed by then.
See also: errand, on

run an errand

 and do an errand; go on an errand
to take a short trip to do a specific thing; to complete an errand. I've got to run an errand. I'll be back in a minute. John has gone on an errand. He'll be back shortly.
See also: errand, run

send someone (out) on an errand

to dispatch someone to perform an errand. Jerry will be back in a minute. I sent him out on an errand. Who sent you on an errand?
See also: errand, on, send

fool's errand

A fruitless mission or undertaking, as in Asking the bank for yet another loan was clearly a fool's errand. [c. 1700]
See also: errand

run an errand

Go to perform a commission, as in I spent the morning running household errands-to the cleaners, the supermarket, the hardware store . [c. 1500]
See also: errand, run

a ˌfool’s ˈerrand

a journey, task, etc. that is a waste of time because it was not necessary: Are you sending me on a fool’s errand again? The last time you sent me to get tickets, the play wasn’t even on.
An errand is a job that you do for somebody that involves going somewhere to take a message, to buy something, etc.
See also: errand
References in classic literature ?
Whatever the sense of her errand might be, Anne's next proceeding proved that she was really bent on it.
Twice he turned his head back toward the forest, after the manner of one who is upon an evil errand, though he must have felt quite safe from pursuit.
It was one evening that I was in the garden, with his two younger sisters and himself, and all very innocently merry, when he found means to convey a note into my hand, by which he directed me to understand that he would to-morrow desire me publicly to go of an errand for him into the town, and that I should see him somewhere by the way.
He had scarce done speaking to them, and giving me my errand, but his man came up to tell him that Sir W H 's coach stopped at the door; so he runs down, and comes up again immediately.
Now it so chanced that Little John had fared expeditiously with his errand.
But I am minded that I clean forgot the errand that brought me to Sherwood.
Quilp kept the chaise in sight, mingled with the crowd, learnt the single gentleman's errand, and its failure, and having possessed himself of all that it was material to know, hurried off, reached the inn before him, had the interview just now detailed, and shut himself up in the little room in which he hastily reviewed all these occurrences.
Gramercy,'' said the warder; ``but if I come to shame for leaving my post upon thine errand, I will try whether a friar's grey gown be proof against a grey-goose shaft.
I do not know why I had an inkling that it would appeal to Strickland's sense of humour to bring a furious stockbroker over to Paris on a fool's errand to an ill-famed house in a mean street.
I said no more, but I felt a very strong conviction that the business on which I was sent away was so beset by difficulties that my errand was almost hopeless at starting.
The result of my errand at Torquay was exactly what I had foreseen.
I know what it is like to work fifty to sixty hours a week and try to squeeze errands in while also trying to give time to the people you love or the hobbies you enjoy doing.
But just like all law-abiding citizens, he still needs to go to the United States' DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) for errands.
Families and organizations can hire Doers for odd jobs and errands including, but not limited to, cleaning, yard work, moving, babysitting, dog walking, or event staffing.
Dawnna Dukes say they found their work a hectic balancing act, fitting in official state work with the Austin lawmaker's expanding list of personal errands - picking up her favorite blueberry pomegranate smoothie at McDonald's, taking her dogs to the vet and, often, babysitting Dukes' daughter.