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

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 But today, with gig-companies at the vanguard, major businesses are challenging this premise with the backing of conservative politicians across the country. Andrew Schwartz, The New Republic, "Gig-Working Through the Apocalypse," 8 Apr. 2020 Founded in 1946 to fight malaria in Southern states, the CDC is at the vanguard in the fight against infectious diseases throughout the nation. Anchorage Daily News, "Inside the coronavirus testing failure: Alarm and dismay among the scientists who sought to help," 4 Apr. 2020 As so often, Community stood at the vanguard of a cultural shift, and probably pushed it along. Christian Holub,, "The 15 best episodes of Community," 3 Apr. 2020 Designers and design thinkers, who have always been at the vanguard of the remote work revolution, will play a leading role in taking this trend mainstream. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "The user experience of “teleworking” evolves with the times," 17 Mar. 2020 After one year in the developmental G League, where Covington played for a proudly experimental team that operated on the vanguard of basketball, he was waived by the Rockets in 2014. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The NBA’s Best Teams Are Battling for—Wait, Who?," 22 Jan. 2020 Kucinich, once on the vanguard of the far-left of his party, endorsed Gabbard's 2020 Democratic presidential campaign last December. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Tulsi Gabbard counterprograms Iowa debate by talking Iran with Dennis Kucinich," 14 Jan. 2020 Over the past 20 years, a new vanguard of African-American creators has helped define the 21st century. New York Times, "The African-American Art Shaping the 21st Century," 19 Mar. 2020 Nehru’s India historically prided itself as a quixotic vanguard of the Nonaligned Movement, frequently subordinating its own geopolitical interests to ethereal notions of anticolonial, Third World brotherhood. WSJ, "Modi Is Transforming India’s Foreign Affairs," 8 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vanguard

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

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Last Updated

3 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vanguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for vanguard


How to pronounce vanguard (audio)

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

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