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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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Definitions of forerunner

forerunner (n.)
a person who goes before or announces the coming of another;
Synonyms: precursor
forerunner (n.)
something that precedes and indicates the approach of something or someone;
forerunner (n.)
anything that precedes something similar in time;
Synonyms: antecedent
From wordnet.princeton.edu