adverb or adjective
\ ə-ˈhed How to pronounce ahead (audio) \

Definition of ahead

1a : in a forward direction or position : forward
b : in front
2 : in, into, or for the future plan ahead
3 : in or toward a more advantageous position helped others to get ahead
4 : at or to an earlier time : in advance make payments ahead
5a : in or into a leading position in a race or competition a politician who is running ahead in most polls Josh Carter scored from a yard out and the Pride added a two-point conversion to surge ahead 14-7.Cumberland (Maryland) Times-News
b baseball
(1) of a pitcher : in or into the situation of having thrown more strikes than balls to a batter Home run threat Mark Reynolds was up next with the bases loaded, but Colon quickly got ahead 1-2 in the count and struck the third baseman out swinging with a … fastball.— Ray Monell
(2) of a batter : in or into the situation of having a count of more balls than strikes Albert Pujols got ahead 3-1 and then lined one into the seats in left for his 20th home run of the year and second of the series.— John Fay

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for ahead



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ahead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The formula will take patience, especially Saturday night in the first meeting between Stanford (1-1) and Vanderbilt (1-1) with the Cardinal far ahead. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 18 Sep. 2021 What happens in Week 1 doesn’t always foreshadow what’s ahead. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2021 The Tigers scored on their next two possessions to move ahead 21-0. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, 18 Sep. 2021 Montgomery, who finished with 108 yards on 16 carries, shrugged Donald off and plowed ahead, shaking free of nose tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day and going through defensive backs Taylor Rapp and Jalen Ramsey past the goal line. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, 18 Sep. 2021 In the coming weeks and months, tougher opponents lie ahead for the Scorpions. Theo Mackie, The Arizona Republic, 17 Sep. 2021 There were more games to play, more talks to come, a father and son delighting in what might lie ahead. Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 Viewing faint, distant galaxies beyond Hubble’s limits, new revolutions certainly lie ahead. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 Aeneas accepts his calling reluctantly, sensing the hazards that lie ahead. Joseph Loconte, National Review, 12 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ahead.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ahead

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ahead

Dictionary Entries Near ahead



ahead of

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ahead

Last Updated

21 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ahead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahead. Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ahead



English Language Learners Definition of ahead

: in or toward the front
: to or toward the place where someone is going
: in, into, or for the future


adverb or adjective
\ ə-ˈhed How to pronounce ahead (audio) \

Kids Definition of ahead

1 : in or toward the front The road stretched ahead for many miles.
2 : into or for the future You should think ahead.

More from Merriam-Webster on ahead

Nglish: Translation of ahead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ahead for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!