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[her-uh ld] /ˈhɛr əld/
(formerly) a royal or official messenger, especially one representing a monarch in an ambassadorial capacity during wartime.
a person or thing that precedes or comes before; forerunner; harbinger:
the returning swallows, those heralds of spring.
a person or thing that proclaims or announces:
A good newspaper should be a herald of truth.
(in the Middle Ages) an officer who arranged tournaments and other functions, announced challenges, marshaled combatants, etc., and who was later employed also to arrange processions, funerals, etc., and to regulate the use of armorial bearings.
an official intermediate in rank between a king-of-arms and a pursuivant, in the Heralds' College in England or the Heralds' Office in Scotland.
verb (used with object)
to give news or tidings of; announce; proclaim:
a publicity campaign to herald a new film.
to indicate or signal the coming of; usher in.
Origin of herald
1300-50; Middle English herau(l)d < Old French herau(l)t < Frankish *heriwald, equivalent to *heri army + *wald commander (see wield). Compare name Harold
7. publicize, ballyhoo, tout. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for heralded
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Later in the night, quite near to morning, there came a terrific shock of artillery fire that heralded a German raid.

    The War Romance of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth and Grace Livingston Hill
  • It was a simple gesture, yet it heralded a change in the lives of both.

  • Next day Roland awoke to a world heavy with a dripping golden mist, that heralded a bright hot day.

    The Lonely Unicorn Alec Waugh
  • "Jane, my dear, I thought you were never coming," heralded a new arrival.

    Judy of York Hill Ethel Hume Patterson Bennett
  • An outbreak from Granny heralded the interruption of the witch drama, and brought Bridget to the spot.

    The Misfit Christmas Puddings The Consolation Club
British Dictionary definitions for heralded


  1. a person who announces important news
  2. (as modifier): herald angels
(often literary) a forerunner; harbinger
the intermediate rank of heraldic officer, between king-of-arms and pursuivant
(in the Middle Ages) an official at a tournament
verb (transitive)
to announce publicly
to precede or usher in
Word Origin
C14: from Old French herault, of Germanic origin; compare Old English here war; see wield
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for heralded



late 13c. (in Anglo-Latin); c.1200 as a surname, "messenger, envoy," from Anglo-French heraud, Old French heraut, hiraut (12c.), perhaps from Frankish *hariwald "commander of an army," from Proto-Germanic *harja "army" (from PIE root *koro- "war;" see harry) + *waldaz "to command, rule" (see wield). The form fits, but the sense evolution is difficult to explain, unless in reference to the chief officer of a tournament, who introduced knights and made decisions on rules (which was one of the early senses, often as heraud of armes, though not the earliest in English).


late 14c., "to sound the praises of," from herald (n.). Related: Heralded; heralding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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