• synonyms


[fawr-ruhn-er, fohr-, fawr-ruhn-er, fohr-]
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  1. predecessor; ancestor; forebear; precursor.
  2. an omen, sign, or indication of something to follow; portent: The warm evenings were a forerunner of summer.
  3. a person who goes or is sent in advance to announce the coming of someone or something that follows; herald; harbinger.
  4. the Forerunner, John the Baptist.
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Origin of forerunner

First recorded in 1250–1300, forerunner is from the Middle English word forrenner. See fore-, runner
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for forerunner


  1. a person or thing that precedes another; precursor
  2. a person or thing coming in advance to herald the arrival of someone or something; harbinger
  3. an indication beforehand of something to follow; omen; portent
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for forerunner


c.1300, from fore + runner. Middle English rendition of Latin praecursor, in reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ. The Old English word was foreboda.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper