Word of the Day – Herald

Word of the Day : April 28, 2021


verb HAIR-uld


1 : to give notice of : announce

2 a : to greet especially with enthusiasm : hail

b : publicize

3 : to signal the approach of : foreshadow

Did you know?

While herald the verb is more common today, herald the noun is older. When the word was first used in the early 14th century, it referred to an official at a tournament (one of those knightly sporting events the Middle Ages are famous for); the herald’s duties included making announcements, hence the word’s uses relating to announcements, literal and metaphorical. The word is ultimately Germanic in origin, coming from a long-lost word that can be translated as “one directing or having authority over a body of armed men,” though like so many words of 14th century vintage, it came to English by way of Anglo-French. The resemblance between herald and the name Harold is not coincidental: Harold is a modern form of Chariovalda, the name of a 1st century C.E. leader of the Batavi, a tribe who lived on the lower Rhine. The Germanic source of Chariovalda, turned into a generic noun, is also the source of herald.


The appearance of robins heralded the arrival of spring.

“The amount of money invested into U.K. tech companies has almost doubled in the past six months, heralding what prime minister Boris Johnson says could be a ‘record-breaking year in 2021.'” — Ollie Williams, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2021