errand


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Related to errand: run an errand

do 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 doing errands all day, and I don't want to trek across town yet again. I'm just stepping out to do an errand. I'll be back soon.
See also: 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

go on 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 got to go on some errands. I'm just stepping out to go on an errand. I'll be back soon.
See also: errand, go, on

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.
See also: errand, on

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.
See also: errand, run

send (one) on an errand

To instruct or direct one to go out on a short trip in order to perform some specific task. The boss sent me on an errand to have these documents notarized. A: "Where's Tom?" B: "Oh, I sent him on a few errands around town. He should be back in a couple hours."
See also: errand, on, send

send (one) to glory

1. euphemism To kill one (i.e., to send one to heaven). "Glory" is sometimes capitalized in this usage. My faith in God is strong, so I have no fear of my enemies sending me to Glory. The boss sent Bobby Fisk around with a Tommy gun to send those dirty rats to glory.
2. To propel one to a position of great success, accomplishment, or fame. It was her last-minute goal that secured her team's victory and sent them to glory as the world champions.
See also: glory, send

send (one) up the river

To sentence one to prison; to cause one to go to prison. A federal judge just sent the CEO up the river for 45 years for defrauding millions of customers. The mob boss ordered a hit on the detective who had sent his right-hand man up the river.
See also: river, send, up

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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
"But I am minded that I clean forgot the errand that brought me to Sherwood.
He appointed hours at which he was employed on business-errands for the inn, and places which lay on the way to those errands, for his meetings with Mrs.
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.
I knew your errand and heard your words, and thus have I answered them." And he pointed to the dead.
``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.''
"And more I learned--that many men had gone thither for Issus in the past, always on errands of death and torture to the prisoners; but those who thus learned the secret way were wont to die mysteriously immediately they had returned and made their reports to cruel Issus."
Every morning there came an old fellow to him who put his rooms in order, and went on errands; otherwise, the old man in the plush breeches was quite alone in the old house.
The Sunday following, the little boy took something, and wrapped it up in a piece of paper, went downstairs, and stood in the doorway; and when the man who went on errands came past, he said to him--
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 only desire her to go into the High Street' (and then he pulls out a turnover), 'to such a shop'; and then he tells them a long story of two fine neckcloths he had bid money for, and he wanted to have me go and make an errand to buy a neck to the turnover that he showed, to see if they would take my money for the neckcloths; to bid a shilling more, and haggle with them; and then he made more errands, and so continued to have such petty business to do, that I should be sure to stay a good while.
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.
When he had given me my errands, he told them a long story of a visit he was going to make to a family they all knew, and where was to be such-and-such gentlemen, and how merry they were to be, and very formally asks his sisters to go with him, and they as formally excused themselves, because of company that they had notice was to come and visit them that afternoon; which, by the way, he had contrived on purpose.
I told Mother I'd do the errands, and I haven't," said Jo decidedly.
'Again, we all know it's a fool's errand. Why do it?