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


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɜː.sɪ.vənt/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈpɜɹ.sɪ.vənt/, /ˈpɜr.swɪ.vənt/


pursuivant (plural pursuivants)

  1. (archaic) A 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. A royal messenger, (particularly) one with the authority to execute warrants.
    • Macaulay
      One pursuivant who attempted to execute a warrant there was murdered.
  6. (law enforcement, by extension) A warrant officer.