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harbinger (HAHR-bin-juhr) noun

One that indicates or foreshadows what is to come; a forerunner.

verb tr.

To signal the approach of; presage.

[Middle English herbengar, person sent ahead to arrange lodgings, from Old French herbergeor, from herbergier, to provide lodging for, from herberge, lodging, of Germanic origin.]

"And while lower prices could mean an opportunity for investors and some savings for American consumers, such reductions could also be a harbinger of deflation." David Welna, Renee Montagne, Deflation Threat, Morning Edition (NPR), 7 Oct 1998.

This week's theme: words that have reversed their meaning.


No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be true. -Nathaniel Hawthorne, American writer (1804-1864)

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