- a person who goes ahead and makes known the approach of another; herald.
- anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign: Frost is a harbinger of winter.
- a person sent in advance of troops, a royal train, etc., to provide or secure lodgings and other accommodations.
- to act as harbinger to; herald the coming of.
Origin of harbinger
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for harbinger
In fact the vanishing sea is a warning: a harbinger of the long feared war over water in Central Asia.The Aral Sea's Disappearing Act
October 4, 2014
Whether this three-day system is a harbinger of seasonal weather changes is uncertain.A Cloud Forms Over Saturn’s Mysterious Moon
Matthew R. Francis
August 17, 2014
And as such, it bears closer inspection, if only because it may be a harbinger of conservative attacks to come.Southern Baptist Convention: Trans People Don’t Exist
June 12, 2014
May have been a harbinger of November contests… in pointlessness and cost.PJ’s Political Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatheads
P. J. O’Rourke
March 14, 2014
Could it be a harbinger of what el-Sisi hopes to accomplish in Egypt?El-Sisi Is The Putin Of The Nile
February 22, 2014
He looked like a harbinger of tempest, a shipmate of the Flying Dutchman.The Village Uncle (From "Twice Told Tales")
I once beheld it as the harbinger of happiness, as the temple of integrity and innocence.Imogen
John was the harbinger not alone of the kingdom but of the King; and to him the King in person came.Jesus the Christ
James Edward Talmage
Thus, therefore, did this harbinger of evil news resume the situation."Unto Caesar"
Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The hour of triumph is often but the harbinger of defeat and shame.
- a person or thing that announces or indicates the approach of something; forerunner
- obsolete a person sent in advance of a royal party or army to obtain lodgings for them
- (tr) to announce the approach or arrival of
Word Origin and History for harbinger
late 15c., herbengar "one sent ahead to arrange lodgings" (for a monarch, an army, etc.), alteration of Middle English herberger "provider of shelter, innkeeper" (late 12c.), from Old French herbergeor, from herbergier "provide lodging," from herber "lodging, shelter," from Frankish *heriberga "lodging, inn" (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German heriberga "army shelter," from heri "army" + berga "shelter"); see harbor. Sense of "forerunner" is mid-16c. Intrusive -n- is 15c. (see messenger). As a verb, from 1640s (harbinge "to lodge" is late 15c.).