front·​line | \ˈfrənt-ˌlīn \

Definition of frontline 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : relating to, being, or involved in a front line frontline ambulances

2 : first-rate frontline teachers also : first-string a frontline goalie

front line


Definition of front line (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a military line formed by the most advanced tactical combat units also : front sense 2a(2)

b : an area of potential or actual conflict or struggle

2 : the most advanced, responsible, or visible position in a field or activity

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of frontline in a Sentence


if I'm having brain surgery, I want it done at a frontline hospital


These researchers are on the front line of defense against cancer. She has been working on the front lines to educate the poor.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The heavy truck will be delivered to a rough, frontline airfield where only one airplane can operate at a time under threat of military action. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The C-130J Super Hercules Is Ready for the Worst," 9 Oct. 2018 As Jeff Merkley's experience with Tom Coburn attests, frontline health care workers are usually well-versed in the benefits of breastfeeding. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Women Really Quit Breastfeeding," 17 July 2018 That policy, aimed at preventing burnout and reducing turnover, has made United Shore somewhat unique in the mortgage business, where frontline jobs often require long working hours and sometimes weekends. Detroit Free Press, "United Shore mortgage moves into new, amenity-filled Pontiac HQ," 23 June 2018 There’s always room for another frontline starter, and the bullpen could certainly use one more shutdown, late-inning option. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Analysis: Manny Machado trade would be right move at right time for Arizona Diamondbacks," 27 June 2018 About midnight July 8, an 18-year-old American Red Cross ambulance driver serving with the Italian army is distributing chocolates and cigarettes to frontline soldiers when an Austrian mortar shell bursts nearby. Robert R. Garnett, WSJ, "A Lost Love Gave Us Hemingway’s Spare Prose," 6 July 2018 According to employee surveys, many frontline workers believed the executives were out of touch and overpaid, the report said. Grant Schulte, The Seattle Times, "Report: Lax Goodwill Omaha allowed CEO to make $1 mln a year," 26 June 2018 Touré’s team has vaccinated 1,611, including 574 frontline health workers. Dina Fine Maron, Scientific American, "How Ebola Vaccines Have Helped to Usher In a New Era in the Outbreak Response," 23 June 2018 Bavaria has been Germany’s frontline state in the migration crisis, with the biggest influx coming from neighboring Austria. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "Merkel’s Government Avoids Collapse Over Migrant Battle, at Least for Now," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the 1960s, the Woolworth department store found itself in the front line of the Nashville civil rights movement, when students staged sit-ins to protest unjust discrimination at the lunch counter. Andrea Williams, Condé Nast Traveler, "5 Nashville Must-Visit Music Venues (For Folks Who Hate Country)," 18 May 2018 Last year, the Pentagon announced a new strategy in the nearly 17-year war, increasing the American troop presence in the country to roughly 14,000 while sending military trainers closer to the front lines. Thomas Gibbons-neff, New York Times, "American Soldier Is Killed in Afghanistan, the 2nd This Week," 12 July 2018 For him, after his release, the next move was clear: back to the front lines of protest. Chris Palmer,, "For 'Abolish ICE' protesters and the targets of their ire, what's next?," 6 July 2018 The picture shows the return of the ration party to the front lines. Mary Horlock, Longreads, "The Camouflage Artist: Two Worlds Wars, Two Loves, and One Great Deception," 21 June 2018 Most hopped on the three-hour flight to Istanbul, then traveled over land to the front lines. Time, "A Tale of Three Jihadists Puts the Fight Against Extremism Onstage," 14 June 2018 Nichols works on the front lines of cannabis activism in her home city of Washington, D.C. Estrohaze, The Root, "This Baker, Entrepreneur and Mother Is Fighting for Section 8 Tenants to Be Able to Use Medical Cannabis," 2 June 2018 That decision — lauded by Barr's critics and blasted by her fans — speaks to a fraught new corporate era in which companies have been pushed to the front lines of the nation's contentious cultural debates. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "ABC's move to ax 'Roseanne' reflects businesses are often at front lines of culture wars," 30 May 2018 Just miles from the front lines in the fight against ISIS, six members of an elite unit are fighting a battle of their own -- a battle to save lives. CBS News, "Meet the Air Force's "life-saving" special operations surgical team," 25 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frontline.' 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 frontline


1915, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about frontline

Statistics for frontline

Last Updated

12 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for frontline

The first known use of frontline was circa 1797

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for frontline

front line


English Language Learners Definition of front line

: an area where soldiers are fighting

: the most important and active position in a job or field of activity

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on frontline

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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!