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

Examples of ahead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The air-quality index (AQI) was up to 284 during the first game, and the second game still went ahead — a poor decision. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "A’s Plus: Will rash of injuries derail Oakland’s postseason hopes?," 16 Sep. 2020 But hundreds of Minneapolis neighborhoods went ahead and held events Tuesday night. Zoë Jackson, Star Tribune, "A changed-up National Night Out takes on new meaning in Minneapolis," 16 Sep. 2020 The Cardinals went ahead for good on DeJong's single off Justin Topa, just called up Monday afternoon. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 2-2, Cardinals 1-3: Forced to swallow a split," 14 Sep. 2020 Andrew Knapp hit a sacrifice fly in the second, but the Marlins went ahead on RBI singles by Dickerson and Marte. sun-sentinel.com, "Marlins vault into second place in NL East with doubleheader sweep of Phillies," 13 Sep. 2020 Liverpool went ahead again eight minutes later as Virgil Van Dijk powered home a header from an Andy Robertson corner but the Dutch defender was at fault soon afterward for the second Leeds equalizer. Paul Gittings, CNN, "Mo Salah hat trick sinks Leeds in seven-goal Premier League thriller," 12 Sep. 2020 Around the country, some communities canceled 9/11 commemorations because of the pandemic, while others went ahead, sometimes with modifications. Arkansas Online, "U.S. marks 9/11 anniversary at tributes shadowed by virus," 11 Sep. 2020 The sorority had sought the university’s blessing to have the event, but as that approval was pending, the group went ahead and had the gathering anyway, the school said. Annie Martin, orlandosentinel.com, "Protests against gun rights activist erupt at UCF; school suspends groups for violating social distancing policies," 10 Sep. 2020 While Conrad had previously announced his retirement effective June 30, Fischer went ahead and made the move to immediately dismiss the chief. Steve Bittenbender, Washington Examiner, "Louisville names new interim police chief," 8 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for ahead

Time Traveler

The first known use of ahead was in 1568

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ahead

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ahead.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ahead. Accessed 26 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ahead


How to pronounce ahead (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
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!