\ 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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ahead


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


after, afterward (or afterwards), later

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Examples of ahead in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Looking ahead: Counsell confirmed that Zach Davies will start the series finale Wednesday in San Diego, with Nelson starting the opener of a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday at Miller Park. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 5, Giants 3: A strong sense of relief in Father's Day victory," 16 June 2019 Eamon Lynch and Geoff Shackelford break down the second round of the U.S. Open and look ahead to the weekend at Pebble Beach. Beth Ann Nichols, USA TODAY, "Michael Thorbjornsen made the cut at the U.S. Open. He's just 17.," 15 June 2019 The market is also looking ahead to next week’s meeting of policyholders of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Washington Post, "Chipmakers, trade fears push stocks lower in early trading," 14 June 2019 Cannes Lions, which spans from June 17-21, celebrates creativity, technology and culture, all while looking ahead to the future. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Nas, Ciara, Bebe Rexha & More on Spotify's Cannes Lions Performance Lineup: Exclusive," 14 June 2019 Zhang's dad, sitting about 15 feet (4.57 meters) away from Christensen, mostly looked straight ahead, unmoving, as the prosecutor offered details of his daughter's killing. CBS News, "Doctoral student's defense lawyers in trial of Chinese scholar's brutal death: He did it," 13 June 2019 Looking ahead: Could the 2020 UK recruiting class be Mark Stoops' highest-rated? Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "UK Mailbag: Basketball returner and newcomer to watch, football expectations and more," 13 June 2019 Looking ahead to 2020-21, the staff makes a few modest revenue and expense projections and concludes the General Fund will be out of balance. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway council to review tight budget for coming year," 12 June 2019 At issue: Looking ahead shortly down the road, the next few weeks could seriously sink the Rockies’ divisional title hopes … or revive them if the club can get hot. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Rockies erase four-run deficit to beat Cubs, with Ryan McMahon’s RBI single the difference," 10 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of ahead

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for ahead

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for ahead

The first known use of ahead was in 1568

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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 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.

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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).


showing courage and determination

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