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From Middle English, from Old French pursuivant, present participle of pursuivre (‘to follow’).


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pursuivant (plural pursuivants)

  1. (archaic) follower
  2. (heraldry) A herald of the College of Arms
  3. A functionary of lower rank than a herald, but discharging similar duties; called also pursuivant at arms; an attendant of the heralds.
    • Longfellow
      The herald Hope, forerunning Fear, / And Fear, the pursuivant of Hope.
  4. (freemasonry) A Grand Lodge Officer who guards the inner door during a meeting of the Grand Lodge
  5. The king's messenger; a state messenger.
    • Macaulay
      One pursuivant who attempted to execute a warrant there was murdered.