1 of 2


ˌä-ˌvän(t)-ˈgärd How to pronounce avant-garde (audio)
: an intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts especially in the arts
the avant-garde in the film industry
avant-gardism noun
avant-gardist noun


2 of 2


: of or relating to an avant-garde
avant-garde writers
an avant-garde filmmaker

Examples of avant-garde in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
His favorites include Erin Martin’s avant-garde atelier M, Dione Carston’s shop Trick Pony, and Elyse Walker’s clothing boutique. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 15 Sep. 2023 The most accomplished member of the avant-garde Group of Five that from the early 1920s onward sought answers to those questions was the novelist, poet, musicologist, literary critic, art historian, and photographer Mário de Andrade. Larry Rohter, The New York Review of Books, 14 Sep. 2023 Amidst the sea of creative ensembles and avant-garde fashion statements, one standout appearance that garnered significant attention was that of Dascha Polanco. Shelby Stewart, Essence, 14 Sep. 2023 Their mah-jongg parties, dubbed East Never Loses, are avant-garde scenes for Angelenos eager to embrace a game embedded in their heritage. Jireh Deng, Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2023 Like most avant-garde scenes, the early East Village drag boom was short-lived. Hugh Ryan, Curbed, 12 Sep. 2023 In the sticky hands of Anglosphere platforms’ avant-garde, the Asian-girl-bot is a beautiful threat to an already-dying world order posed by both AI and China, metabolized and neutralized by girlishness: So cute! Alex Quicho, WIRED, 11 Sep. 2023 Despite a communication barrier, the couple found love not just romantically, but creatively as well — specifically in art, as well as avant-garde theater and film. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 11 Sep. 2023 From avant-garde Eckhaus Latta to earthly Sami Miro Vintage, the city’s designers will show the breadth of what the West has to offer during September’s New York Fashion Week. The Editors, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023
Since the house’s inception, in 1988, Margiela had been known for an avant-garde mentality, paired with classical technique. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2023 Instead of showing up in something avant-garde, Dakota drew attention with a black halter-style midi dress with a deep V-neckline. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 18 Mar. 2023 One constant, however, is that her avant-garde ensembles are always about the art of juxtaposition. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2023 By Richard Quinn British fashion designer Richard Quinn is known for his avant-garde creations and bold use of color, so a collaboration with MAC made a whole lot of sense. Lisa Desantis, Allure, 14 Mar. 2023 Active in avant-garde music on the European music scene, Bertelmann frequently employs prepared piano and electronics. Jon Burlingame, Variety, 12 Mar. 2023 The nude, floor-length frock hinted at old Hollywood, perhaps a nod to mom Janet Leigh, but with the avant-garde touch of exterior boning in the corset. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Mar. 2023 Mary Bauermeister, a German artist who played a signature role in the development of the freewheeling performance art of the 1960s avant-garde, died on March 2 at a hospice in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. Will Heinrich, New York Times, 11 Mar. 2023 In a city that likes to think of itself as edgy, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has hardly been in the avant-garde. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 10 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'avant-garde.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Adjective

French, vanguard

First Known Use


1849, in the meaning defined above


1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of avant-garde was in 1849

Dictionary Entries Near avant-garde

Cite this Entry

“Avant-garde.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avant-garde. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on avant-garde

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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