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

Taking over As befits such a dramatic ambition, the heralds of the IOT are fond of very big numbers. The Economist, "Drastic falls in cost are powering another computer revolution," 12 Sep. 2019 One of the most conspicuous heralds is a bonny buttercup named the winter aconite. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "As summer’s heat wanes, it’s time to plan (and plant) for late-winter beauty," 4 Sep. 2019 According to some spiritual paths, hummingbirds are heralds of joy. Web Behrens, chicagotribune.com, "15 things to do with the kids Aug. 12-18," 11 Aug. 2019 Hark the herald angels, Ellis finally listened and brought in younger players! SI.com, "Women's World Cup Throwback: 5 Moments Which Defined the USWNT's Four-Year Journey to the Top," 29 July 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Sox outfield was heralded as the best in all of baseball last season, but Benintendi has been the obvious weak link this year. BostonGlobe.com, "Andrew Benintendi never turned the corner this season.," 17 Sep. 2019 When the blistering front three took apart Spain in Sevilla, it was heralded as one of the nation's greatest modern footballing triumphs. SI.com, "Why England's New 'Golden Generation' are Set Up for Glorious Failure," 11 Sep. 2019 In ancient cultures, the winter solstice was heralded as the beginning of brighter days ahead—an indication that the sun god was regaining his strength. Country Living, "The History of the Christmas Tree Goes Back Farther Than You Might Realize," 4 Sep. 2019 The movie has been heralded as a searing portrait of gentrification, of the brutal ways that black people have been disenfranchised to make way for white progress. Jenna Wortham, New York Times, "White Filmmakers Addressing (or Avoiding) Whiteness Onscreen," 29 Aug. 2019 The ruling was heralded as a landmark in the ongoing litigation of the opioid crisis, which has spurred thousands of lawsuits from patients and state and local governments. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Oklahoma wins opioid case against Johnson & Johnson, gets tiny payout," 27 Aug. 2019 Starling, meanwhile, was heralded as a top prospect before hitting .222 over a three-year span and missing most of 2018 with injuries. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles’ John Means faces former high school teammate in Royals outfielder Bubba Starling," 19 Aug. 2019 Brazil was once heralded as a global environmental success story. Fox News, "Brazilian president suggests less pooping to help save environment," 12 Aug. 2019 He’s been heralded by people like Dr. Cornell West as today’s answer to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. John Hammontree | Jhammontree@al.com, al, "Rev. William Barber on building a moral coalition in the South, comparisons to MLK," 5 Aug. 2019

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

23 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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