Definition of courier in English:



  • 1A company or employee of a company that transports commercial packages and documents.

    ‘the cheque was dispatched by courier’
    [as modifier] ‘a courier service’
    • ‘Often, because of this, outsourcing plays some role in this process such as having a courier service transport backup tapes to a secure vault.’
    • ‘Most of the world's major courier companies have integrated their air courier and cargo services with distribution, logistics and warehousing management services.’
    • ‘In other news, the stupid courier company delivered my travel documents and flight tickets at 6.20 am this morning.’
    • ‘Sticking to our roadway analogy, long-haul trucking may be more sensitive to throughput, while a courier service may be more demanding on latency.’
    • ‘A colleague came over to the group of desks where I sit bearing a package in a courier company's bag.’
    • ‘About two and a half years ago, I hired someone to be the operations manager of my courier company.’
    • ‘The bottles were transported by a courier company and was destined for Durban via Johannesburg.’
    • ‘The courier service opened up the whole country to us.’
    • ‘‘The courier company still does the transport of the parcel, but we provide a value-added service to ensure that it gets at the right place at the right time’, he said.’
    • ‘A fast and efficient service is the ‘thing’ in the courier business, said the company's sales manager.’
    • ‘And because the courier service I used took 13 days instead of three.’
    • ‘Until recently, delivery to the mainland was at times unreliable but a new courier service is in place and next day delivery is guaranteed.’
    • ‘The only problem I've found is the courier service they use - who are fond of leaving packages on your doorstep when nobody is home.’
    • ‘Arrive at the airport on time to meet a courier service representative.’
    • ‘The court this week ruled that a courier company was liable for injuries its bicycle courier inflicted on a pedestrian, because the courier was an employee rather than an independent contractor.’
    • ‘The package was delivered to the factory by a courier company on Wednesday.’
    • ‘Regardless of the mushrooming courier services, post boxes in the city will still be important, she is certain.’
    • ‘Its services are divided into several groups of which photo copying and a courier service are the most important.’
    • ‘Every day, companies such as yours, entrust their data tapes to couriers or service providers.’
    • ‘Detectives believe he was on his way to a courier service company to ship several headphones to England.’
    messenger, special messenger, dispatch rider, letter carrier, mail carrier, runner, bearer, message bearer, message carrier, delivery man, delivery woman, conveyor, envoy, emissary, harbinger, herald
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    1. 1.1A messenger for an underground or espionage organization.
      ‘a courier disguised as a commercial traveller’
      • ‘‘A courier is a very low ranking member of the Underground,’ she said.’
      • ‘By courier, winged messenger and hand-scroll, the spies among the renegades had informed Izates of their movements toward his walled capital.’
      • ‘Kings and Emperors traditionally corresponded by messenger - their emissaries and couriers have always been subject to special protection.’
      • ‘When Gregory is shot down over France, Charlotte becomes an undercover courier whose desire to fight with the French Resistance is driven primarily by the hope of finding her new lover.’
      • ‘I was to be a mere link in a great chain of intelligence couriers.’
      • ‘They served as clerks and couriers, telephone and telegraph operators, code and cipher analysts, and spies behind enemy lines in Europe.’
      • ‘Additional stories tell how others put their lives on the line as spies, soldiers, and couriers.’
      • ‘They forged documents, collected arms, and were couriers to the Warsaw underground.’
      • ‘They were spies, and couriers to their parents.’
      • ‘Most of what he acquired was microfilm brought out of Poland to the West by underground couriers.’
      • ‘It was during this period when many bouviers accepted their most dangerous task yet, serving as couriers for the Nazi resistance movement in Holland and other areas of northern Europe.’
      • ‘Each day a courier from Washington would bring to the New York office the latest current intelligence products for use by the President-elect and his staff.’
      • ‘You see, I've already organized a spy network there - I could use an extra courier.’
      • ‘Women as perpetrators include nearly 200 women tried as spies, smugglers, couriers, and saboteurs conducting such activity as cutting telegraph wire.’
  • 2British A person employed to guide and assist a group of tourists.

    ‘he worked as a courier on a package holiday to Majorca’
    • ‘Though whites were concerned about her masculine appearance, she worked as a guide, courier, warrior and peacemaker for the next 25 years.’
    • ‘The fun began in the South of France when I was a tour courier.’
    • ‘Every coach will have a courier and it will be the best-managed coach operation ever.’
    representative, guide, tour guide, travel guide, tour company representative
    View synonyms


  • Send (goods or documents) by courier.

    ‘your order can be couriered to you in three days’
    • ‘The cinema in digital video disc format can even be couriered to the exhibitor, thus saving on the expenditure and time taken for transporting the cans.’
    • ‘We had to call them five times before they finally pulled their finger out and couriered the stuff over here.’
    • ‘Firstly, I would just like to say that I had these documents couriered to me yesterday as we were about to leave to come down here.’
    • ‘All the luggage that we know of has been couriered back to each of the passengers or they have come in and picked it up.’
    • ‘David would fax me little sketches of his ideas and I would source fabrics to be couriered to him in New York.’
    • ‘The test result indicated that there was cancer, and those results were faxed through to the doctor and they were also couriered through to him very shortly after.’
    • ‘I've sent her a large bouquet of flowers and couriered her some photos of her great-grandchildren both of which she was very happy to receive.’
    • ‘The garments arrived this week, neatly packed and couriered from Hong Kong.’
    • ‘They give students the option of appearing for model test papers either in the classroom (the tests will be held in these centres on Sunday), or couriering their answers to the centre.’
    • ‘The specimen of only 150 millilitres was couriered to laboratories where several million stem cells were successfully extracted.’
    • ‘I found out at about 5.30 on Friday evening that the exhibition stand materials, which should have been couriered out to Nice on Thursday, were still in the office cupboard.’
    • ‘I got an e-mail an hour later telling me that a replacement book was couriered and if the original ever showed up to please mail it back (it never did).’
    • ‘We're losing too much money couriering needed data from your outskirt abode to our different offices.’
    • ‘Would the blood sample and the urine sample be split up or must they be couriered together?’
    • ‘I had the documents couriered over as quickly as I could.’
    • ‘Instead, the movie will be stored in a high-capacity disk drive about double the size of a cigarette pack, which will be couriered to the hall, where the film can be downloaded to the server.’
    • ‘I suspect this is simply a result of this particular unit having been couriered all over the countryside and thereby having been given a pretty hard life.’
    • ‘The bomb squad and hazardous materials unit were called in to investigate a package posted from overseas and couriered to a local businessman.’
    • ‘I have just been made aware by the respondents here that they couriered out some documents to me yesterday, which I have not got - I never received…’
    • ‘There's always an urgent e-mail to reply to and a letter to be couriered because it is to reach tomorrow (which a few years ago we would have planned ahead and written four days earlier).’


Late Middle English (denoting a person sent to run with a message): originally from Old French coreor; later from French courier (now courrier), from Italian corriere; based on Latin currere to run.