Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

herald

play
noun her·ald \ˈher-əld, ˈhe-rəld\

Simple Definition of herald

  • : a sign that something will happen

  • : an official messenger in the past

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of herald

  1. 1 a :  an official at a tournament of arms with duties including the making of announcements and the marshaling of combatants b :  an officer with the status of ambassador acting as official messenger between leaders especially in war c (1) :  officer of arms (2) :  an officer of arms ranking above a pursuivant and below a king of arms

  2. 2 :  an official crier or messenger

  3. 3 a :  one that precedes or foreshadows b :  one that conveys news or proclaims :  announcer c :  one who actively promotes or advocates :  exponent

Examples of herald in a sentence

  1. The early flowers are heralds of spring.

  2. Mercury was the herald of the Roman gods.



Origin of herald

Middle English, from Anglo-French heraud, herald, from Frankish *heriwald-, literally, leader of an armed force, from *heri- army + *wald- rule; akin to Old High German heri- army, waltan to rule — more at harry, wield

Synonym Discussion of herald

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>.

2

herald

verb her·ald

Simple Definition of herald

  • : to be a sign of (something that is beginning to happen or will happen soon)

  • : to greet (someone or something) with enthusiasm

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of herald

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to give notice of :  announce

  3. 2 a :  to greet especially with enthusiasm :  hail <doctors are heralding a new drug> b :  publicize

  4. 3 :  to signal the approach of :  foreshadow

Examples of herald in a sentence

  1. Rain heralds the arrival of spring.

  2. The technology heralded a new age of space exploration.



Did You Know?

The exact origin of "herald" is uncertain, but it is thought to derive from Germanic roots. Specifically, etymologists believe that "herald" developed from an assumed Frankish compound whose first component is akin to the Old High German heri-, meaning "army," and whose second component is akin to the Old High German word waltan, meaning "to rule." When "herald" first appeared on the scene in the 14th century, it referred to an official at a tournament of arms whose duties included the making of announcements. The verb forms, extending the "announcement" idea, soon followed.

14th Century

First Known Use of herald

14th century


HERALD Defined for Kids

1

herald

play
noun her·ald \ˈher-əld\

Definition of herald for Students

  1. 1 :  an official messenger

  2. 2 :  a person who brings news or announces something




2

herald

play
verb her·ald

Definition of herald for Students

heraldedheralding

  1. 1 :  to give notice of :  announce

  2. 2 :  foretell <… in his sleep he heard the faintest sound and knew whether it heralded peace or peril. — Jack London, The Call of the Wild>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up herald? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

deserving imitation because of excellence

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove reduce perplex soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ