1

herald

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

Definition of herald

1 a :an official at a tournament of arms (see 3arm 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.
3 a :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

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Examples of herald in a Sentence

  1. The early flowers are heralds of spring.

  2. Mercury was the herald of the Roman gods.

Recent Examples of herald from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology 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

Definition of herald

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
2 a :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.

Examples of herald in a Sentence

  1. Rain heralds the arrival of spring.

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

Recent Examples of herald from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of herald


HERALD Defined for English Language Learners

herald

play
noun

Definition of herald for English Language Learners

  • : a sign that something will happen

  • : an official messenger in the past


herald

verb

Definition of herald for English Language Learners

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

  • : to greet (someone or something) with enthusiasm


HERALD Defined for Kids

1

herald

play
noun her·ald \ ˈher-əld \

Definition of herald for Students

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

2

herald

verb

Definition of herald for Students

heralded; heralding
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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