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herald

[her-uh ld] /ˈhɛr əld/
noun
1.
(formerly) a royal or official messenger, especially one representing a monarch in an ambassadorial capacity during wartime.
2.
a person or thing that precedes or comes before; forerunner; harbinger:
the returning swallows, those heralds of spring.
3.
a person or thing that proclaims or announces:
A good newspaper should be a herald of truth.
4.
(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.
5.
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)
6.
to give news or tidings of; announce; proclaim:
a publicity campaign to herald a new film.
7.
to indicate or signal the coming of; usher in.
Origin
1300-1350
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
Synonyms
7. publicize, ballyhoo, tout.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for heralds
  • Nearly every day another startup proudly heralds a new way to harness community action.
  • But it also heralds a new means of communication whose impact might rival even that of the telephone.
  • For some, the disappearance of this centrifugal core heralds a future rich with promise.
  • In the cold, thoughts turn to snowflakes, heralds of winter.
  • He has been accused of acquiring state secrets, a charge that often heralds a jail term.
  • Maybe it heralds the start of a social movement, or enlightens the world about events long hidden.
  • Maybe it heralds the start of a new social movement, or enlightens the world about events long hidden.
  • The stubborn silence heralds victory for the disease: denial cannot keep the virus at bay.
  • Out of the story books stepped the heralds of six centuries ago.
British Dictionary definitions for heralds

herald

/ˈhɛrəld/
noun
1.
  1. a person who announces important news
  2. (as modifier): herald angels
2.
(often literary) a forerunner; harbinger
3.
the intermediate rank of heraldic officer, between king-of-arms and pursuivant
4.
(in the Middle Ages) an official at a tournament
verb (transitive)
5.
to announce publicly
6.
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 heralds

herald

n.

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).

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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