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Related to errand: run an 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.
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.
run an errand
To make a short trip to complete a specific task or chore. 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 stepping out to run an errand. I'll be back soon.
on a fool's errand
Trying to achieve, accomplish, or obtain something when one has little to no chance of being successful. You're on a fool's errand if you think you can convince the boss to give you more time off. We've been fighting with the city to give us the permit to build on this site for nearly a year now. It's starting to feel like we've been on a fool's errand this whole time.
*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.
run an errandand 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.
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?
A fruitless mission or undertaking, as in Asking the bank for yet another loan was clearly a fool's errand. [c. 1700]
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]
a ˌfool’s ˈerranda 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.