Synonyms & Antonyms of forerunner

1 one that announces or indicates the later arrival of another
  • the return of the swallows is traditionally regarded as a forerunner of spring

Synonyms for forerunner

Words Related to forerunner

2 something belonging to an earlier time from which something else was later developed
  • enjoyed the demonstration of the simple hand loom that was the forerunner of today's computer-controlled looms

Synonyms for forerunner

Words Related to forerunner

Near Antonyms for forerunner

Antonyms for forerunner

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About forerunner

How is the word forerunner distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of forerunner are harbinger, herald, and precursor. While all these words 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

How do harbinger and herald relate to one another, in the sense of forerunner?

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

When would precursor be a good substitute for forerunner?

The synonyms precursor and forerunner are sometimes interchangeable, but 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About forerunner

Time Traveler for forerunner

Time Traveler

The first known use of forerunner was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near forerunner




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Forerunner.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on forerunner

Nglish: Translation of forerunner for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of forerunner for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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