precursory

Anything that's precursory comes before something else, often in an ominous or inauspicious way, like a precursory rumble that proceeds the eruption of a volcano.

While some synonyms of precursory include preliminary and introductory, it's most common to use this adjective with a certain threatening sense of warning. So you might describe the precursory growl of a tiger just before it attacks, or the precursory stillness in advance of a tornado's descent. Precursory comes from Latin roots, prae, or "before," and currere, "to run."

Definitions of precursory
  1. adjective
    warning of future misfortune
    synonyms: premonitory
    prophetic, prophetical
    foretelling events as if by supernatural intervention
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