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 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 The upshot: Business is moving into the vanguard of advocating human rights as well as climate action, not because of partisan preference, but because their business depends on it. Alan Murray, Fortune, "On Bill Gates’s “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”," 5 Apr. 2021 Apart from fringe progressives — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her vanguard cohort — there will be no opposition from Democrats to executive military action. Seth Cropsey, National Review, "Building U.S.–Asian Teamwork Against China," 13 Mar. 2021 Cyclical sectors like Energy and Financials continued to form the vanguard on Wall Street yesterday, with Tech taking more of a backseat. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, "Tech Check: Sector Under Pressure As Yields Climb, But Improved Jobless Claims Lend Wider Support," 25 Feb. 2021 Around the same time, one of Silicon Valley's vanguard employers, Yahoo Inc., ended its telecommuting policy for similar reasons. Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune, "Why some Minnesota companies are ditching the office and going remote, forever," 30 Jan. 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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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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vanguard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 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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