herald

noun
her·​ald | \ ˈher-əld How to pronounce herald (audio) , ˈhe-rəld \

Essential Meaning of herald

formal
1 : a sign that something will happen The early flowers are heralds of spring.
2 : an official messenger in the past Mercury was the herald of the Roman gods.

Full 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

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 These were mostly front-line workers who were herald at the start of the pandemic. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 16 Oct. 2021 For the purposes of Venom 2, Shriek can be a mutant but not necessarily a herald of X-Men to come. James Grebey, Vulture, 2 Oct. 2021 Franzen, child of Western Springs, chronicler of contemporary America, Exhibit A of the Great White Male American Novelist (circa 2021), reflexively detested, never arrives on the page now without a huff, a herald or a hand-wringing. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 13 Oct. 2021 Lucky for Dou Dou, of course, but what does this herald for the brand of Bond? The New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2021 Diverted at first by a benign supernatural entity named Uatu the Watcher, who exists to observe the development of the human race, Galactus is betrayed by his herald, the Silver Surfer, a metallic creature nourished, like Galactus, by cosmic energy. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 Diverted at first by a benign supernatural entity named Uatu the Watcher, who exists to observe the development of the human race, Galactus is betrayed by his herald, the Silver Surfer, a metallic creature nourished, like Galactus, by cosmic energy. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 19 Aug. 2021 Celebrated food industry veterans from Daniela Soto-Innes to Yotam Ottolenghi herald the greatest up-and-coming culinary talent from around the world. New York Times, 16 Feb. 2021 Usually, the Virginia governor’s race is seen as a herald for what will happen in a midterm election a year later. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 30 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The four-hour event will herald the return to Broadway, as many shows have started to open their doors for the 2021 season (and in the case of Beetlejuice, come back from the dead after unceremoniously closing in March of 2020). Sage Anderson, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2021 China and Vietnam herald the arrival of the harvest moon prior to the autumnal equinox by eating mooncakes, a delicacy with an intricate outer design typically filled with red bean, lotus or dates. Michelle Shen, USA TODAY, 22 Sep. 2021 Tetreault, the Ford’s leader, said his initial thought was to organize an event that would herald in a big way the restoration of the performing arts to its prominent place. Washington Post, 11 Sep. 2021 Any changing of the guard, however, is unlikely to herald major policy shifts in a country where the royal palace has long been in command. New York Times, 8 Sep. 2021 For years, this is what Orioles fans have been doing in lieu of watching winning baseball: forecasting when the success would come, and whose arrival would herald it. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, 21 Aug. 2021 Its stock price is currently up 2,500% on this time last year and significant deflating of its price could herald a crypto sell-off. Billy Bambrough, Forbes, 6 Sep. 2021 El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells is headlining a concert that will herald the reopening of The Magnolia, the performing arts venue that was closed for 10 years, reopened at the end of 2019 and then was shuttered again in March 2020 because of COVID-19. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Aug. 2021 This fall was supposed to herald the return of in-person classes everywhere. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 23 Aug. 2021

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 heraud, herald, harawd, borrowed from Anglo-French heraud, herald (continental Old French nominative hirauz, oblique hyraut), borrowed from Old Low Franconian *heriwalda-, from *heri- "body of armed men" (going back to Germanic *harja-) + *-walda- "one directing or having authority," noun derivative of *waldan- "to have authority over, rule" — more at harry, wield

Note: The Germanic compound noun exemplified by *heriwalda- is evident very early as a personal name, Chariovalda, a leader of the Batavi (a tribe living on the lower Rhine) mentioned by Tacitus (1st century a.d.). Later forms of the name are Hereweald (Old English) and Haraldr (Old Norse), whence the modern name Harold, and Heriwald (Old High German).

Verb

Middle English herauden "to sound the praises of," borrowed from Middle French hirauder, herauder "(of a herald) to proclaim publicly, to praise unreservedly," derivative of hiraud, heraud herald entry 1

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Time Traveler for herald

Time Traveler

The first known use of herald was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near herald

Heraclius

herald

heraldic

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Last Updated

27 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Herald.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herald. Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for herald

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

More from Merriam-Webster on herald

Nglish: Translation of herald for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of herald for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about herald

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