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

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 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That same year, Williams’ organization released its much heralded State of Black Boston report that exposed economic, income, health and education disparities among whites, blacks, Latinos and Asians. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Head of local Urban League to step down," 18 Aug. 2019 Stores at North Star Mall, South Park Mall and Rolling Oaks Mall are plastered with signs heralding discounts, and employees said the shops are closing this month. Madison Iszler, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio retailer shutters online store, closing shops," 6 Aug. 2019 Cole started all 16 games last season as a rookie, and his teammates have heralded his ability to learn and adjust. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals' Mason Cole fills in at guard for injured Justin Pugh," 6 Aug. 2019 Crowd-pleasing and heralded for its dense, dark fruit yet lively, herbaceous profile, Cabernet is a wine that’s as classic as a Sferra tablecloth or Val St. Lambert candlesticks. Sara Mae Albert, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Plan a Casual Chic Dinner Party," 2 Aug. 2019 His crowning Sunday as the Tour de France's youngest post-World War II champion, and its first from South America, heralded the birth of a new supernova in the cycling universe. Fox News, "Egan Bernal, 22, wins Tour de France; youngest post-WWII champion," 29 July 2019 His crowning Sunday as the Tour de France's youngest post-World War II champion, and its first from South America, heralded the birth of a new supernova in the cycling universe. John Leicester And Samuel Petrequin, baltimoresun.com, "22-year-old Egan Bernal is first Colombian to win Tour de France," 28 July 2019 Adding to the absurdity of the moment is the fact that the grieving crowd sits stock-still and accepts the verbal punishment, raising no objection as the monologuing Blanchett heralds the death of their very way of life. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Cate Blanchett Dons 13 Guises in This Daring Art Installation," 26 July 2019 The city has also seen a revival of a defunct violence prevention group that formed during the gang warfare of the early 2000s, heralding a return to the old-school strategy of citizen patrols. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Hartford residents push back against gun violence with community cookouts and citizen patrols," 21 July 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

9 Sep 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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