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.


  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

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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