vanward

adjective

van·​ward ˈvan-wərd How to pronounce vanward (audio)
: located in the vanguard : advanced
vanward adverb

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What is the Difference Between vanguard and vanward?

The troops at the head of an army are called the vanguard, and that word can also mean "the forefront of an action or movement." It was vanguard, rather than vanward, that led the way on the route into English. Vanguard was first documented in English in the 15th century. By the early 17th century, it was sometimes shortened to van—a reference might be made to an army's "van and rear." Some 200 years later vanward brought up the rear, making its English debut when writers appended -ward, an adjective suffix meaning "is situated in the direction of," to the shortened van, thereby creating a word meaning "in the forefront."

Word History

First Known Use

1811, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vanward was in 1811

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Dictionary Entries Near vanward

Cite this Entry

“Vanward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vanward. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

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