1. a person or creature who goes ahead and makes known the approach of another; herald.
2. anything that foreshadows a future event; omen; sign.
3. a person sent in advance of troops, a royal train, etc., to provide or secure lodgings and other accommodations.
4. to act as harbinger to; herald the coming of.
Etymology: late Middle English herbenger, nasalised variant of Middle English herbegere, dissimilated variant of Old French herberg(i)ere - host, equivalent to herberg(ie) - to shelter.