Her"ald (?), n. [OE. herald, heraud, OF. heralt, heraut, herault, F. h'eraut, LL. heraldus, haraldus, fr. (assumed) OHG. heriwalto, hariwaldo, a (civil) officer who serves the army; hari, heri, army + waltan to manage, govern, G. walten; akin to E. wield. See Harry, Wield.]
An officer whose business was to denounce or proclaim war, to challenge to battle, to proclaim peace, and to bear messages from the commander of an army. He was invested with a sacred and inviolable character.
In the Middle Ages, the officer charged with the above duties, and also with the care of genealogies, of the rights and privileges of noble families, and especially of armorial bearings. In modern times, some vestiges of this office remain, especially in England. See Heralds' College (below), and King-at-Arms.
A proclaimer; one who, or that which, publishes or announces; as, the herald of another's fame.
A forerunner; a a precursor; a harbinger.
It was the lark, the herald of the morn.
Heralds' College, in England, an ancient corporation, dependent upon the crown, instituted or perhaps recognized by Richard III. in 1483, consisting of the three Kings-at-Arms and the Chester, Lancaster, Richmond, Somerset, Windsor, and York Heralds, together with the Earl Marshal. This retains from the Middle Ages the charge of the armorial bearings of persons privileged to bear them, as well as of genealogies and kindred subjects; -- called also College of Arms.
© Webster 1913.
Her"ald (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Heralded; p. pr. & vb. n. Heralding.] [Cf. OF. herauder, heraulder.]
To introduce, or give tidings of, as by a herald; to proclaim; to announce; to foretell; to usher in.
© Webster 1913.