Definition of herald in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhɛr(ə)ld/


1An official employed to oversee state ceremonial, precedence, and the use of armorial bearings, and (historically) to make proclamations, carry official messages, and oversee tournaments.
Example sentences
  • The following day she was proclaimed by heralds with flourishes of trumpets at various places in London, to the stony disapproval of the citizens.
  • Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons came to kiss her hand and were graciously received as the heralds proclaimed her in the streets.
  • In the Middle Ages, the Crown designated a half-dozen sites in London where a herald would read proclamations from the king.
messenger, courier, bearer of tidings;
proclaimer, announcer, crier, town crier
1.1(In the UK) an official of the College of Arms or the Lyon Court ranking above a pursuivant.
Example sentences
  • I was advised by one of their heralds pursuivant that there is no official or legal way up.
  • Royal Archers and persuivants and heralds and crown bearers, their playing-card costumes making them look like extras from Alice in Wonderland, provided the ceremonial.
  • These are the entourages that follow important people around, made up of advisors, heralds, messengers and servants.
2A person or thing viewed as a sign that something is about to happen: they considered the first primroses as the herald of spring
More example sentences
  • For eight centuries they have been the heralds of spring, as sure a sign of impending blue skies and falling blossom as the song of swallows and the appearance of tulips.
  • The markets often view it as a herald of global trends.
  • Crocuses used to be the first heralds of spring in Harrogate, but these days it is the sight of scantily clad young models around the exhibition centre.
harbinger, sign, indicator, indication, signal, prelude, portent, omen, augury, forewarning, presage, announcer;
forerunner, precursor, messenger, usher;
French avant-courier
literary foretoken
3A brown moth with dull orange markings, often hibernating in houses and old buildings.
  • Scoliopteryx libatrix, family Noctuidae.


[with object]
1Be a sign that (something) is about to happen: the speech heralded a change in policy
More example sentences
  • Along with the improved play of the national team, there are other favorable signs heralding the successful hosting of the global soccer festival, such as the onrush of foreign tourists.
  • But the clear signs of a recession herald an end to this development.
  • The building industry pact signed this week heralds a new era of co-operation in an industry that has for over a century been a major area of demarcation disputes.
signal, indicate, announce, point to, spell, presage, augur, portend, promise, prefigure, foreshadow, foretell, usher in, show in, pave the way for, open the way for, be a harbinger of, be a forerunner, be a precursor of;
precede, come before
rare forebode, foretoken, betoken, harbinger
1.1Acclaim: the band have been heralded as the great hope for the nineties
More example sentences
  • The new licensing laws have been heralded as the greatest thing since some fella came along with a knife and decided to slice bread.
  • They have been heralded as the dawn of a brave new world of financial security, where like eager beavers we stash away our surplus nuts for the future.
  • The book has been heralded as a gay Latino version of Jacqueline Susann's classic ‘Valley of the Dolls.’


Middle English: from Old French herault (noun), herauder (verb), of Germanic origin.

Words that rhyme with herald

Fitzgerald, Gerald

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: her¦ald

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