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Avant Courier. (French, avant courrier.)

A “messenger sent before” to get things ready for a party of travellers, or to announce their approach. Anything said or done to prepare the way for something more important to follow; a feeler, a harbinger.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Aut Cæsar aut nullus [Latin, Either Cæsar or no one]
Authentic Doctor
Auto da Fe. [An act of faith.]
Autolycus
Automaton
Automedon
Autumn
Ava
Avalanche
Avalon
Avant Courier. (French, avant courrier.)
Avant Garde. (French.)
Avatar
Ave Maria [Hail, Mary!] (Ave, 2 syl.)
Avenel
Avenger of Blood (The)
Avernus (Greek, a-ornis, “without a bird”)
Avertin (St.)
Avesta
Aveugle
Avienus