\ə-ˈhed \

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


afore [chiefly dialect], already, antecedently, anteriorly, before, beforehand, earlier, formerly, preliminarily, previously


after, afterward (or afterwards), later

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ahead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But fortunately YouTuber DefendTheHouse went ahead and did it for you. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Red Dead Redemption 2 player reveals the surprisingly complex lives of NPCs," 10 Nov. 2018 While there isn't a title for the new project yet, Apple went ahead and gave the show a two-season order. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Jennifer Aniston Is Making a TV Comeback with Reese Witherspoon," 25 Oct. 2018 As the father went ahead, the child reportedly evaded staff and climbed into the machine. Fox News, "Boy in China captured on X-ray riding conveyor belt through train station security," 20 Oct. 2018 Go ahead and reach for your favorite breakfast staple again and again. Good Housekeeping, "4 Reasons Why Oatmeal Is the Ultimate Breakfast," 15 Oct. 2018 Another deep Southern favorite is the pecan pie (go ahead, say PEE-can), done in a traditional style with crunchy, caramelized nuts covering a rich, buttery filling that’s held in place by a firm yet flaky crust. James Patrick Kelly, idahostatesman, "Boise Pie Co. shows its Southern roots, bakes up delicious desserts," 12 July 2018 Before Kuzmin could act, Hellmuth went off (WARNING: NSFW language ahead): Fair or foul from @Phil_Hellmuth? Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Phil Hellmuth apologizes for foul-mouthed rant during World Series of Poker hand," 10 July 2018 Despite neighborhood protests, the city went ahead with demolitions and created a district of one- and two-story warehouses, union halls, light manufacturing facilities, and many surface parking lots. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "Here's what you might not know about Corktown's history," 9 July 2018 Yesterday, scared and frustrated, about half the caravan broke off and continued ahead. Liliana Frankel, Teen Vogue, "A Day in the Life of the Migrant Caravan," 16 Nov. 2018

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

Statistics for ahead

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ahead

The first known use of ahead was in 1568

See more words from the same year

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

\ə-ˈhed \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ahead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ahead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ahead

Spanish Central: Translation of ahead

Nglish: Translation of ahead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ahead for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ahead

What made you want to look up ahead? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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