forerunner (plural forerunners)

  1. A runner at the front or ahead.
  2. (sport) By extension, a non-competitor who leads out the competitors on to the circuit, or who runs/rides the course prior to competitor trials, usually testing or checking the way.
  3. A precursor or harbinger, a warning ahead.
  4. A forebear, an ancestor, a predecessor.
    Bakelite is a forerunner of today's plastics.
  5. (philately) A postage stamp used in the time before a region or area issues stamps of its own.
  • German: Vornewegläufer, Frontläufer
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