One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A person running ahead, especially a member of the advance guard of an army.
harbinger, sign, indicator, indication, signal, prelude, portent, omen, augury, forewarning, presage, announcerView synonyms
- ‘He had served as an artilleryman during the war of Independence, and retained enough of his old military habits to make a most invaluable avant-courier.’
- ‘Landseer, however, instead of following his avant-courier in an hour, arrived in a few minutes after him.’
- ‘The avant-courier rode at full speed into the court.’
- ‘Why, then, don't the avant-couriers who praise the piece as one of Schoenberg's greatest take note of this outbreak of tonality?’
- ‘General Platen's avant-courier now arrived with the intelligence of his approach.’
Early 17th century: from French avant ‘forward, before’ + courier.
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