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”).
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmɛs.n̩.d͡ʒɚ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈmɛs.n̩.d͡ʒə/
Audio (US) (file)
- Hyphenation: mes‧sen‧ger
messenger (plural messengers)
- One who brings messages.
- The secretary bird.
- The supporting member of an aerial cable (electric power or telephone or data).
- (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
- (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.
- (figurative) A forerunner or harbinger.
- a messenger of doom
- A light scudding cloud preceding a storm.
- A piece of paper, etc., blown up a string to a kite.
- (nautical) A light line with which a heavier line may be hauled e.g. from the deck of a ship to the pier.
- (oceanography) A weight dropped down a line to close a Nansen bottle.
- (Scotland) A messenger-at-arms.
- (bowling) A pin which travels across the pin deck to knock over another pin, usually for a strike.
- (transitive) To send something by messenger.
- I'll messenger over the signed documents.