herald

noun
her·​ald | \ ˈher-əld, 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Accompanying the ball Captain were his heralds, Misses Rayven Payton and Rayion Payton. Sue Strachan, NOLA.com, "Original Illinois Club Carnival Ball 2018 honors heritage," 12 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

With temperatures lowering, heading indoors—and staying there—heralds another annual occurrence: peak cuffing season. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "8 Romantic Winter Weekend Getaways From New York City," 29 Dec. 2018 Meng’s arrest earlier this month could herald a new slate of actions by the US government to constrain Huawei and other Chinese tech companies. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The US government’s ongoing battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained," 11 Dec. 2018 Progressives in the state heralded the law as a victory years in the making. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Do I Have to Vote? Here Are Some of the Scary Things That Could Happen If You Don't," 6 Nov. 2018 The plant was heralded as an example of the strength of the U.S.-Japan alliance but added to the costs of building the aircraft. Alastair Gale And Chieko Tsuneoka, WSJ, "Japan Heeds Trump’s Call With American-Made Defense Spending Spree," 18 Dec. 2018 The mega-hit grossed more than $238 million worldwide and has been widely heralded as the best romantic comedy in more than a decade. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Everything You Need to Know About the 'Crazy Rich Asians' Sequels," 8 Dec. 2018 Palm Beach, Florida, a tiny island long heralded as a bastion of both the luxurious and the sophisticated, has become a recent hot spot for young interior designers. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "Here’s Why Palm Beach Has Become a Destination for Young Interior Designers," 7 Dec. 2018 Amazon’s arrival might once have been heralded as an unalloyed good. Alex Baca, Vox, "I work in urban planning. Now Amazon’s coming to my city.," 20 Nov. 2018 Iris Rijskamp, courtesy Design Academy Eindhoven 3D printing is often heralded as a more efficient and less wasteful type of fabrication. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The most bizarre and brilliant projects from a Dutch design fair," 5 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about herald

Listen to Our Podcast about herald

Statistics for herald

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for herald

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for herald

herald

noun

English Language Learners Definition of herald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on herald

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

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!