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

c(1) : officer of arms

(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

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 Outside the hall, the morning air was filled with light, cheerful music from the CSO Chamber Players, and fanfares from herald trumpets on the balcony above. Monroe Trombly, Cincinnati.com, "Look inside the renovated Cincinnati Music Hall," 7 Oct. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And those journalists deserve to be heralded — just not in this holier-than-thou cinematic cri de coeur. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "Liberal outrage in Rob Reiner's 'Shock and Awe'," 12 July 2018 Such events seem to be heralding the birth of a new technology movement. The Economist, "Raiders of the killer dappBlockchain technology may offer a way to re-decentralise the internet," 28 June 2018 The young recruits were forced to sing songs and stand at attention to herald his arrival. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Ex-child soldiers say Delco man turned them into killers," 19 June 2018 The involvement of Middle Eastern money also could be problematic given Kushner's leading role as a policy adviser for the region — visible in his recent appearance in Jerusalem to herald the relocation there of the U.S. embassy. David Kocieniewski And Stephanie Baker, chicagotribune.com, "Jared Kushner's tech startup seeking at least $100 million from Saudi-backed fund," 22 May 2018 But the other big flaw of the deal, Martha, is that this was supposed to be heralding a new era in our relations with Iran, it was supposed to change Iran's behavior. Fox News, "Marc Thiessen on decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement," 25 Apr. 2018 At an event in West Virginia on Thursday arranged to herald the tax measure, Trump made a dramatic show of tossing his page-long prepared speech into the air. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Trump's administration is scrambling to catch up with him," 5 Apr. 2018 Born in eighteenth-century Great Britain, the modern factory was immediately understood to herald a revolution. David Sessions, The New Republic, "The Meaning of American Factories," 2 Apr. 2018 Ah, spring: What better way to herald the season’s arrival than by sitting underneath a riverside canopy of cherry trees? Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to See Cherry Blossoms in the U.S., Besides D.C.," 28 Mar. 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

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

Verb

see herald entry 1

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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)

: 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

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