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MESSAGE (a word occurring in slightly different forms in several languages, e.g. Fr. message, Span, mensaje, Ital. messagio; adapted from the Low Lat. missalicum, from mittere), a communication either verbal, written or printed, sent from one person to another. Message is the term generally applied to the official communications addressed by the heads of states to their legislatures at the opening of the session or at other times. These also, though written, are borne and delivered by special messengers and have the force of a face to face speech. The sessional and other messages to Congress of the president of the United States of America are printed state documents. Washington and John Adams delivered them in person but the practice was discontinued by Jefferson.

" Messenger " is of the same derivation; the earlier form of the word was messager (cf. passenger, scavenger). In ordinary language the word means one who is charged with the delivery of a message. In Scottish law a messenger-at-arms is an official appointed by Lyon-King-at-Arms to execute summonses and letters of diligence connected with the Court of Sessions and Court of Justiciary (see WRIT: Scotland). Technically the term " messenger " is given to an endless rope or chain, passing from the capstan to the cable so that the latter may be hauled in when the messenger is wound round the capstan; also to a similar contrivance for hauling in a dredge.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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