noun fore·run·ner \ˈfr-ˌrə-nər\

: someone or something that comes before another

: a sign of something that is going to happen

Full Definition of FORERUNNER

:  one that precedes and indicates the approach of another: as
a :  a premonitory sign or symptom
b :  a skier who runs the course before the start of a race

Examples of FORERUNNER

  1. a simple machine that was the forerunner of today's computers
  2. I had that strange feeling that's the forerunner of a cold.

First Known Use of FORERUNNER

13th century

Synonym Discussion of FORERUNNER

forerunner, precursor, harbinger, herald mean one that goes before or announces the coming of another. forerunner is applicable to anything that serves as a sign or presage <the blockade was the forerunner of war>. precursor applies to a person or thing paving the way for the success or accomplishment of another <18th century poets like Burns were precursors of the Romantics>. harbinger and herald both apply, chiefly figuratively, to one that proclaims or announces the coming or arrival of a notable event <their early victory was the harbinger of a winning season> <the herald of a new age in medicine>.


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