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1. An officer in the British Colleges of Heralds who ranks below a herald.
2. A follower or attendant.

[Middle English pursevant, attendant, from Old French poursuivant, from present participle of poursuivre, to follow, from Vulgar Latin *prōsequere; see pursue.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Heraldry) the lowest rank of heraldic officer
2. (Historical Terms) history a state or royal messenger
3. (Historical Terms) history a follower or attendant
[C14: from Old French, from poursivre to pursue]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɜr swɪ vənt)

1. a heraldic officer of the lowest class, ranking below a herald.
2. an attendant; follower.
[1350–1400; Middle English pursevant < Middle French purs(u)ivant, present participle of pursuivre to pursue, follow]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The case has been much debated by pursuivants and kings-of-arms.
At each of these portals were stationed two heralds, attended by six trumpets, as many pursuivants, and a strong body of men-at-arms for maintaining order, and ascertaining the quality of the knights who proposed to engage in this martial game.
Riding in Cornet Jack Hastings, his lass Amye Marchbank and Pursuivant Craig Drumond at the Planestanes Ceremonial Provost Tracey Little
Conrad Swan, then Rouge Dragon Pursuivant , might be able to appear before the committee.
In attendance: Podesta, J., worshipful master; Comey, J., senior warden; Mueller, R., junior warden; Rosenstein, R., inner guard; McCabe, A., pursuivant; Strzok, P., steward; Page, L., almoner; Clapper, J., grand sword-bearer; Yates, S., grand registrar; Soros, G., treasurer.
For sickness, a pursuivant in Look About You (1599) afflicted by a potion enters saying 'O O O not too fast; O I am sicke, O very sicke' and comments at his exit: 'O o o o my Lord' (1619, 1719); (13) in William Rowley's A Shoemaker a Gentleman (1608) a sick Barnaby enters 'with a Kercher on'saying 'Oh, oh, oh,' adding 'I have such a singing in my head, my toes are crampt too' (3.2.10-11, 14-15).
(57) Dugdale, as a herald, had worked with arms painters, such as Henry Lilly, Pursuivant Extraordinary in the College of Arms, whose workshop in St Paul's churchyard was another gathering place for antiquaries.
For this was William Dugdale, knight of the realm, for one thing, proud owner of Blyth Hall, and the man's expertise in matters genealogical, scholastic and heraldic brought him a marvellous array of exotic titles: Pursuivant extraordinary, Blanch Lyon, Rouge Croix, Norroy, and Garter Principal King of Arms.
Philippine Ambassador Sahid Glang will address the gathering, which will be attended by guest of honour supreme commander Reghis Romero II, who will be accompanied by past supreme commander Jesus David and KGOR supreme pursuivant Avelino Torres.
Ahead of them was a procession dignitaries, including Alastair Bruce Crionaich, who goes by the title Fitzalan Pursuivant Extraordinary, and her servant, the Gentleman Usher the Black Rod, Lieutenant General David Leakey, Black Rod for short.
31 Witchsmeller Pursuivant and The Queen Of Spain's Beard were episodes of which TV series?
He published a condemnation of the recusant priest Edmund Campion, when Campion was captured and executed in 1581; Munday dedicated a book to Richard Topcliffe, chief torturer for Elizabeth and James and eager persecutor of recusants; Munday published two sermons by John Calvin; and at least once in his long career Munday took service with the crown as a "pursuivant" or warrant officer, charged to find, inform on, and assist in the apprehension of traitors, especially recusants.