front line

1 of 2


: a military line formed by the most advanced tactical combat units
: an area of potential or actual conflict or struggle
: the most advanced, responsible, or visible position in a field or activity


2 of 2


front·​line ˈfrənt-ˌlīn How to pronounce frontline (audio)
: relating to, being, or involved in a front line
frontline ambulances
: first-rate
frontline teachers
also : first-string
a frontline goalie

Examples of front line in a Sentence

Noun These researchers are on the front line of defense against cancer. She has been working on the front lines to educate the poor. Adjective if I'm having brain surgery, I want it done at a frontline hospital
Recent Examples on the Web
In Jersey, which is on the front line of the invasion, Christie has been leading the fightback. Frankie Adkins, WIRED, 10 Apr. 2024 The Russian awakening to the importance of drones coincided with the stabilization of the front lines, around August 2022. IEEE Spectrum, 10 Apr. 2024 Image Image To the north near Kharkiv, six miles from the front line, residents live in range of Russia’s lethal artillery. Emile Ducke Thomas Gibbons-Neff, New York Times, 8 Apr. 2024 With no end to the fighting in sight, and an increasingly perilous front line, Ukrainian soldiers can sometimes feel that the only choice available to them is one between death and desertion. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 Today National Guard troops from Texas patrol the park that – now rimmed with spiraled wire – is seen as a front line in a national debate over U.S. border security. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 5 Apr. 2024 The strikes also show Russia is unrelenting in the brutal pursuit of its war aims, readying further ground offensives but also able to rely on a seemingly robust supply of missiles and explosive drones to strike targets far from the front lines. Serhii Korolchuk, Washington Post, 4 Apr. 2024 Kyiv’s soldiers on the front lines are in pressing need of ammunition to fend off Russia’s latest salvos. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, 1 Apr. 2024 Either way, libraries and librarians are on the front lines of the book banning war. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 1 Apr. 2024
Also frontline medical personnel: doctors, nurses and others. Dr. Joel M. Rothaizer, McC, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 The satellite launches have inflamed animosities between the rival Koreas, and both nations have taken steps to breach a previous military agreement meant to ease frontline military tensions. The Associated Press,, 2 Dec. 2023 The elevator and escalator manufacturer’s team has a lot of frontline essential workers who remained active throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. John Kell, Fortune, 23 June 2023 In states where cancer patients are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, limited supply keeps them waiting as health care workers, frontline essential workers, nursing home residents and staff, and other Americans with underlying health conditions fill up available appointments. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2021 Researchers believe changes there help the virus bind more tightly to our cells and hide from frontline immune defenders called antibodies that try to block the virus from invading our cells. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 3 May 2022 Also, frontline essential works, such as firefighters, educators (including teachers, day care workers, and support staff), grocery store employees, public transit workers, postal workers, food and agricultural workers, manufacturing workers, police officers, and corrections officers. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Ukraine first deployed DroneHunter last May to chase down the Group 1 and 2 drones that Russia was using to spy on frontline Ukrainian troops. Jason Sherman, Scientific American, 3 Apr. 2023 The majority of damage is concentrated in frontline eastern regions, including Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 24 Mar. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use


circa 1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of front line was circa 1797

Dictionary Entries Near front line


front line


Cite this Entry

“Front line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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!