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

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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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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 Private equity firms, which buy and restructure businesses in hopes of turning a profit, stand at the vanguard of sports investing. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Prices are rising everywhere you look," 9 May 2021 The company in this example is at the vanguard, but other companies can follow its example by using presales to capture reliable product feedback that will help product teams prioritize and build incredible new features at a lightning pace. Matt Darrow, Forbes, "Presales: How Winning Companies Nail Product-Market Fit," 4 May 2021 Where the nation saw a trend to conservatism in a vanguard state, some of those involved in the 1990s ballot efforts thought the rapid-fire timing, more than anything else, gave a somewhat false impression of where California was headed. Washington Post, "California voters revisit a fraught history on race with a referendum on the 1990s," 28 Oct. 2020 Synthetic material began to be developed in the 1950s and '60s, which makes Roger Bannister's 1954 vanguard achievement of becoming the first person to break the 4-minute mile all that impressive. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Unique high-tech track waiting for competition at Baldwin Wallace University," 18 Aug. 2020 But a factory in Zwickau, Germany, that produces ID.3 sedans and ID.4 S.U.V.s, the vanguard of Volkswagen’s drive to dominate the emerging market for electric cars, has not been affected, according to the company. New York Times, "A Tiny Part’s Big Ripple: Global Chip Shortage Hobbles the Auto Industry," 23 Apr. 2021 Donovan Mitchell will, in fact, blaze past being a guard and become a vanguard, with a reach far beyond the lines on a basketball court. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Donovan Mitchell leads the Utah Jazz, and he could lead an entire generation," 9 Apr. 2021 Since then, Planet has successfully launched 452 satellites and become the vanguard of the industry. Washington Post, "The revolution in satellite technology means there are swarms of spacecraft no bigger than a loaf of bread in orbit," 6 Apr. 2021 Since then, Planet has successfully launched 452 satellites and become the vanguard of the industry., "Circling the planet, satellites no bigger than bread loaves offer an explosion of data and imagery," 6 Apr. 2021

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

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Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vanguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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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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