1. A person who carries or proclaims important news; a messenger.
2. One that gives a sign or indication of something to come; a harbinger: The crocus is a herald of spring.
3. An official whose specialty is heraldry.
a. An official formerly charged with making royal proclamations and bearing messages of state between sovereigns.
b. An official who formerly made proclamations and conveyed challenges at a tournament.
tr.v. her·ald·ed, her·ald·ing, her·alds
1. To proclaim, especially with enthusiasm; announce or acclaim: cheers that heralded the team's arrival.
2. To be a sign of; foreshadow: The discovery heralds a new era in drug treatment.
[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, of Germanic origin; see koro- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.