herald

noun
her·​ald | \ ˈher-əld How to pronounce herald (audio) , ˈhe-rəld\

Definition of herald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an official at a tournament of arms (see arm entry 3 sense 1a) 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
(2) : an officer of arms ranking above a pursuivant and below a king of arms
2 : an official crier or messenger Mercury was the gods' herald.
3a : one that precedes or foreshadows heralds of a coming storm
b : one that conveys news or proclaims : announcer it was the lark, the herald of the morn— William Shakespeare
c : one who actively promotes or advocates : exponent

herald

verb
heralded; heralding; heralds

Definition of herald (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give notice of : announce a gong used to herald the new year the approach of a cold air mass … is heralded by a shift of the wind— P. E. James
2a : to greet especially with enthusiasm : hail doctors are heralding a new drug
b : publicize a highly heralded event
3 : to signal the approach of : foreshadow The technology heralded a new age of space exploration.

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Choose the Right Synonym for herald

Noun

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

Did You Know?

Verb

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.

Examples of herald in a Sentence

Noun

The early flowers are heralds of spring. Mercury was the herald of the Roman gods.

Verb

Rain heralds the arrival of spring. The technology heralded a new age of space exploration.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Luckily, there’s one herald of summertime in San Francisco that speaks to renewal. Caille Millner, SFChronicle.com, "SF’s cutest employees munch down fire hazards," 14 June 2019 By next January, that number could change. ___ MAKING HISTORY The night could witness a generational change in Congress and herald in a number of barrier-breaking officeholders. Ken Thomas, The Seattle Times, "WHAT TO WATCH: After turbulent campaign, it’s up to voters," 7 Nov. 2018 Müller’s success in a modern 4-2-3-1 formation was the herald of a new generation. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 1 Day to Go - Germany's Mild-Mannered Goal Machine, Miroslav Klose," 13 June 2018 Months ago, its heralds announced that electric scooters had overtaken cities across California. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "Electric Scooters Are the Cargo Shorts of Transportation," 31 May 2018 Image To most people, the buds and sprouts of April are welcome heralds of spring. Zach Montague, New York Times, "Lanternflies Eat Everything in Sight. The U.S. Is Looking Delicious.," 21 May 2018 Tulane also stated its commencement will feature live jazz, herald trumpets, confetti cannons and a second-line procession. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, NOLA.com, "Steve Gleason among 4 to receive honorary Tulane degree," 7 May 2018 But now that season arrives like a presciently timed herald of the #MeToo-Time’s Up revolution, with 13 female directors and 9 of 13 episodes written or co-written by women. Mike Hale, New York Times, "Review: ‘Jessica Jones’ Returns, Well Timed for the Time’s Up Moment," 7 Mar. 2018 Still, Atwell thinks the author was a herald of social change. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Hayley Atwell Found Herself in One of Literature’s Greatest Heroines," 30 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Now the band is announcing a new EP (title to come, releasing Nov. 22), video and fall release show — all of which herald a busy release season for a quartet that’s rarely estranged from the recording studio. John Wenzel, The Know, "Exclusive: Wildermiss reveals new album, video for “Hell or High Water”," 14 June 2019 The successful invasion which heralded the Allied advance towards Germany and victory in Europe 11 months later. The Denver Post, "PHOTOS: 75th anniversary of D-Day commemorated around the world," 6 June 2019 Seventy-four years ago, in a remote stretch of desert outside Alamogordo, N.M., a brilliant flash of light heralded a new age. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Newly Remastered Archival Video Shows the Power of the First Nuclear Weapons Test," 12 Mar. 2019 In announcing the charges last week, Sessions heralded the prosecutions, which, including the six from George's group, totaled 11 cases. Tal Kopan, CNN, "Woman in possible 'caravan' case accuses Sessions of discrimination," 5 May 2018 The countries, which technically remain in a state of war, heralded the deal as part of ‘a new era of peace’ after a historic summit. Chuck Todd, NBC News, "Peace in Korea could be Trump's key legacy. But the eventual outcome is still unclear.," 27 Apr. 2018 An offense that was once heralded for its unselfishness and reliance on making the extra --- extra --- pass is finally returning to its roots. Joe Freeman, OregonLive.com, "With better ball movement, unselfish play, Portland Trail Blazers say they're 'turning the corner'," 6 Jan. 2018 Related Supporters of the pilot, including some asset-management firms such as Vanguard Group and T. Rowe Price Group Inc., have heralded it as a step toward reducing or eliminating rebates. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Big Three Stock Exchanges Sue SEC Over Trading-Fee Plan," 15 Feb. 2019 Females also turned out in force to see Black Panther, heralded for its portrayal of strong women, making up 45 percent of all ticket buyers (that share is usually 35 to 40 percent on a superhero movie's opening weekend). Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Box Office: 'Black Panther' Climbs to Historic $242M Bow After Record Monday," 20 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herald.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of herald

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for herald

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for herald

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for herald

The first known use of herald was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for herald

herald

noun

English Language Learners Definition of herald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: a sign that something will happen
: an official messenger in the past

herald

verb

English Language Learners Definition of herald (Entry 2 of 2)

: to be a sign of (something that is beginning to happen or will happen soon)
: to greet (someone or something) with enthusiasm

herald

noun
her·​ald | \ ˈher-əld How to pronounce herald (audio) \

Kids Definition of herald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an official messenger
2 : a person who brings news or announces something

herald

verb
heralded; heralding

Kids Definition of herald (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give notice of : announce
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

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