noun \ˈvan-ˌgärd also ˈvaŋ-\

: the group of people who are the leaders of an action or movement in society, politics, art, etc.

the vanguard : the soldiers, ships, etc., that are at the front of a fighting force that is moving forward

Full Definition of VANGUARD

:  the troops moving at the head of an army
:  the forefront of an action or movement
van·guard·ism \-ˌgär-ˌdi-zəm\ noun
van·guard·ist \-dist\ noun

Examples of VANGUARD

  1. <a style of jazz that the vanguard quickly recognized as new and exciting>
  2. <talk radio is often regarded as being in the vanguard of the conservative movement>

Origin of VANGUARD

Middle English vauntgard, from Anglo-French vantgarde, avantgarde, from avant- fore- (from avant before, from Late Latin abante) + garde guard — more at advance
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Military Terms

bivouac, logistics, petard, salient, sally, supernumerary, tactical


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