errand


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Related to errand: run an errand

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

*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

run an errand

also run errands
to make a short trip for a particular purpose I've got to run a few errands and then stop by my mother's house.
Usage notes: usually to buy or deliver something
See also: errand, run

a fool's errand

an attempt to do something that has no chance of success Billions of dollars have been spent on long-range weather forecasting, but it's a fool's errand.
See also: errand

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
References in classic literature ?
He reached his door in much satisfaction that his errand was done: he opened it, and to his short-sighted eyes everything remained as he had left it, except that the fire sent out a welcome increase of heat.
I knew your errand and heard your words, and thus have I answered them.
Yet I pray thee, do mine errand to the lord of the castle,'' answered the pretended friar; ``trust me it will find good acceptance with him, and the cock shall crow, that the whole castle shall hear him.
Will Scarlet had been sent on a similar errand to Barnesdale some time before, if you remember, only to be chased up the hill without his purchase.
Having acquitted themselves of their errand, and exchanged a hearty shake of the hand with Edmond, Danglars and Caderousse took their places beside Fernand and old Dantes, -- the latter of whom attracted universal notice.
This errand was devised for Totty as a means of checking certain threatening symptoms about the corners of the mouth; for Tommy, no longer expectant of cake, was lifting up his eyelids with his forefingers and turning his eyeballs towards Totty in a way that she felt to be disagreeably personal.
He is powerful and terrible, and if you come on an idle or foolish errand to bother the wise reflections of the Great Wizard, he might be angry and destroy you all in an instant.
In the shadows of the forest that flanks the crimson plain by the side of the Lost Sea of Korus in the Valley Dor, beneath the hurtling moons of Mars, speeding their meteoric way close above the bosom of the dying planet, I crept stealthily along the trail of a shadowy form that hugged the darker places with a persistency that proclaimed the sinister nature of its errand.
During the journey I thought over my errand with misgiving.
If ever I catch you round here again or anywhere else on such an errand, I'll shoot you like a dog.
Excuse me for sending you on a needless errand," Emily said to Mirabel; "Miss de Sor tells me Mr.
After tea Cousin Annetta went home, and just about dark Grandfather King went over to Uncle Jeremiah's on an errand.
Concealing as she best might the disgust that he inspired in her, Anne stated her errand in the most direct manner, and in the fewest possible words.
And the old errand man looked quite pleased, nodded, and took the pewter soldier over to the old house.
Indeed I did not," answered Allworthy; "nor did I know he had gone on such an errand till this moment.