van·​guard | \ ˈvan-ˌgärd also ˈvaŋ- How to pronounce vanguard (audio) \

Definition of vanguard

1 : the forefront of an action or movement
2 : the troops moving at the head of an army

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Other Words from vanguard

vanguardism \ ˈvan-​ˌgär-​ˌdi-​zəm How to pronounce vanguardism (audio) also  ˈvaŋ-​ \ noun
vanguardist \ ˈvan-​ˌgär-​dist How to pronounce vanguardist (audio) also  ˈvaŋ-​ \ noun

Synonyms for vanguard


avant-garde, cutting edge, van

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Examples of vanguard in a Sentence

a style of jazz that the vanguard quickly recognized as new and exciting talk radio is often regarded as being in the vanguard of the conservative movement

Recent Examples on the Web

The other mural is by an emerging young man, Sergio Mora, who stands out for his ironic style, with a viewpoint of very Spanish magical surrealism–like Dalí—which gives us a vanguard touch in the space, welcoming the visitor. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 2019 Though admired by Edouard Manet (who also portrayed Morisot and whose brother, Eugène, would marry her), Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Edgar Degas, and by vanguard critics, Morisot was marginalized in later Impressionist narratives. Mary Tompkins Lewis, WSJ, "‘Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist’ Review: A Legacy Restored," 19 Mar. 2019 At a Friday breakfast meeting of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston’s Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren laid out some of the unique challenges that come from being in the economic vanguard. Evan Horowitz,, "As Massachusetts goes, so might the US economy," 13 Apr. 2018 Event organizers announced Tuesday that the vanguard will begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 23, earlier than the traditional start time of 11:30 a.m. Greater interest spurred by the city’s Tricentennial led to the decision, parade officials said. Madalyn Mendoza, San Antonio Express-News, "Battle of Flowers Parade officials announce major scheduling change for 2018," 30 Jan. 2018 The Landmark Mall was once at the vanguard of shopping. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "A Macy’s Goes From Mall Mainstay to Homeless Shelter," 13 June 2018 Aside from the vanguard programs, which require a child be tested and classified as gifted and talented, no documentation is required for elementary students to apply and be accepted to magnet program lotteries. Shelby Webb, Houston Chronicle, "How do Houston ISD's magnet schools and programs work, anyway?," 31 Jan. 2018 This company is at the vanguard of the Chinese commercial space industry. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Vega soars, Delta 2 end nears, hearing a Falcon Heavy launch," 24 Aug. 2018 Polychain Capital is at the vanguard of cryptocurrency investing, attracting backers from prominent ventures capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz, and betting on companies that might define the next generation of blockchain. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "Polychain Becomes First $1 Billion Crypto Fund: What Happens Now?," 26 June 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vanguard

Middle English vauntgard, borrowed from Anglo-French vantgarde, avantgarde, from avant- "fore-" (from avant "before," going back to Late Latin abante) + garde guard entry 1 — more at advance entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near vanguard



van Gogh



van Hoorne's canal


Statistics for vanguard

Last Updated

18 May 2019

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Time Traveler for vanguard

The first known use of vanguard was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for vanguard



English Language Learners Definition of vanguard

: the group of people who are the leaders of an action or movement in society, politics, art, etc.
: the soldiers, ships, etc., that are at the front of a fighting force that is moving forward


van·​guard | \ ˈvan-ˌgärd How to pronounce vanguard (audio) \

Kids Definition of vanguard

1 : the troops moving at the front of an army
2 : forefront

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Comments on vanguard

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


a strong desire or propensity

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