See also: Messenger

English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English messengere, messingere, messangere, from Old French messanger, a variant of Old French messagier (French messager), equivalent to message +‎ -er. Doublet of messager. Displaced native Old English boda (messenger, envoy) and ǣrendraca (messenger, ambassador).

For the replacement of -ager with -enger, -inger, -anger, compare passenger, harbinger, scavenger, porringer. This development may have been merely the addition of n, or it may have resulted due to contamination from other suffixes such as Middle English -ing and the rare Old French -ange, -enc, -inge, -inghe (-ing) for Old French -age (-age).

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

messenger (plural messengers)

  1. One who brings messages.
  2. The secretary bird.
  3. The supporting member of an aerial cable (electric power or telephone or data).
  4. (law) A person appointed to perform certain ministerial duties under bankrupt and insolvent laws, such as to take charge of the estate of the bankrupt or insolvent.
    • (Can we date this quote?), James Burrow, Reports of Cases Adjudged in the Court of King's Bench:
      The Messenger under the joint Commission of Bankruptcy might have seized the Whole, if they had remained in their Warehouse
  5. (computing) An instant messenger program.
    • 2006, United States. Congress. House. Committee on Energy and Commerce. Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Sexual exploitation of children over the Internet, page 395:
      The 4 primary messengers include [sic] AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger.
    • 2010, Tim Collins, A Woman's Guide to Internet Dating, A Male Perspective, page 49:
      Have them meet you on your favorite messenger program. IMs provide a means of instant chat without waiting on someone to respond back to you.
  6. (figurative) A forerunner or harbinger.
    a messenger of doom
  7. A light scudding cloud preceding a storm.
  8. A piece of paper, etc., blown up a string to a kite.
  9. (nautical) A light line with which a heavier line may be hauled e.g. from the deck of a ship to the pier.
  10. (oceanography) A weight dropped down a line to close a Nansen bottle.
  11. (Scotland) A messenger-at-arms.
  12. (bowling) A pin which travels across the pin deck to knock over another pin, usually for a strike.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

Verb edit

messenger (third-person singular simple present messengers, present participle messengering, simple past and past participle messengered)

  1. (transitive) To send something by messenger.
    I'll messenger over the signed documents.