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

Definition of vanguard

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

Other Words from vanguard

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

Synonyms for vanguard


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Vanguard comes from Anglo-French avantgarde, from avant, meaning "before," and garde, "guard." In medieval times, avantgarde referred to the troops that marched at the head of the army. In time, vanguard marched its way as a word for the group of people who are the leaders of an action or movement in society, politics, art, etc.

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 Electronic vehicles are at the vanguard of this movement, but some promising CO2 capture technologies are now in the development stage, receiving substantial private investment. A.j. Ghergich, Forbes, 2 May 2022 The company is at the vanguard of US businesses trying to develop commercial opportunities in low Earth orbit. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 25 Apr. 2022 And flight attendants have been at the vanguard of the labor movement ever since. Nell Mcshane Wulfhart, Time, 21 Apr. 2022 But the series itself isn’t at the vanguard of anything. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2022 Alongside artists like McBride, Nicholas Payton, Marc Cary and Joshua Redman, Hargrove shepherded a new vanguard for the genre, one that could not be defined by the era in which it was created nor limited by it. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 The new comedy vanguard is recording front-facing monologues, posting them to Twitter, and watching the retweets multiply. Allure Editors, Allure, 15 July 2021 This year’s earlier start time — 8:55 a.m. for the vanguard, 9:30 a.m. for the main parade — meant fewer hours protecting the site. Nora López, San Antonio Express-News, 7 Apr. 2022 Their new mission is to train a vanguard of activists to lead the charge in tearing down the foundations of society, reminiscent of Maoist China’s Red Guards. Andrew Gutmann And Paul Rossi, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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van Gogh



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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vanguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for vanguard


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

More from Merriam-Webster on vanguard

Nglish: Translation of vanguard for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vanguard for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vanguard


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