Etymology
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forerunner (n.)
c. 1300, from fore- + runner. Middle English literal rendition of Latin praecursor, used in reference to John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ. Old English had foreboda and forerynel.
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precursor (n.)

early 15c., precursoure, "a forerunner; that which precedes an event and indicates its approach," from Old French precurseur and directly from Latin praecursor "forerunner," agent noun from past-participle stem of praecurrere, from prae "before" (see pre-) + currere "to run" (from PIE root *kers- "to run"). Originally of John the Baptist. Related: Precursive; precursory.

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postillon (n.)

also postilion, 1580s, "a forerunner," a figurative use, from French postillon (1530s), from Italian postiglione "forerunner, guide," especially for one carrying mail on horseback, from posta "mail" (see post (n.3)) + compound suffix from Latin -ilio. The sense of "one who rides the near horse of the leaders when four or more are used in a carriage or post-chaise" is from 1620s.

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baptist (n.)
c. 1200, "one who baptizes," also (with capital B-) a title of John, the forerunner of Christ; see baptize + -ist. As "member of a Protestant sect that believes in adult baptism upon profession of faith," generally by full immersion (with capital B-), attested from 1654; their opponents called them anabaptists (see Anabaptist).
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prodrome (n.)

1640s, "a forerunner" (a sense now obsolete); by 1834 in pathology, "a prodromal symptom;" from French prodrome (16c.) and directly from Modern Latin prodromus, from Greek prodromos "a running forward, a sally, sudden attack," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + dromos "a running" (see dromedary). Related: Prodromata; prodromatic; prodromic; prodromous.

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Camelot (n.)
legendary castle of King Arthur, a name first found in medieval French romances; the name corresponds to Latin Camuladonum, the Roman forerunner of Colchester, which was an impressive ruin in the Middle Ages. But Malory identifies it with Winchester and Elizabethans tended to see it as Cadbury Castle, an Iron Age hill fort near Glastonbury.
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messenger (n.)

c. 1200, messager (late 12c. as a surname), "one who bears a message; the bearer of a verbal or written communication," from Old French messagier "messenger, envoy, ambassador," from message (see message (n.)). With unetymological -n- inserted by c. 1300 for no apparent reason except that people liked to say it that way (compare passenger, harbinger, scavenger). From c. 1200 as "a harbinger, forerunner, precursor" (in reference to John the Baptist as the precursor of Christ).

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harbinger (n.)
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 "one who offers lodging, innkeeper," agent noun from herbergier "provide lodging," from herber "lodging, shelter," from Frankish *heriberga "lodging, inn" (cognate with Old Saxon, Old High German heriberga "army shelter"), from Germanic compound *harja-bergaz "shelter, lodgings," which is also the source of harbor (n.). Sense of "forerunner, that which precedes and gives notice of the coming of another" is mid-16c. The unetymological -n- is from 15c. (see messenger). As a verb, from 1640s (harbinge "to lodge" is late 15c.).
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