vanguard

noun

van·​guard ˈvan-ˌgärd How to pronounce vanguard (audio)
 also  ˈvaŋ-
1
: the forefront of an action or movement
2
: the troops moving at the head of an army
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

Did you know?

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 He was often categorized as part of what became known, starting in the 1950s, as the New York School — an experimental vanguard of visual artists, dancers and poets including John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch, who was also a Columbia professor and mentored Mr. Shapiro as a student. Alex Williams, New York Times, 10 May 2024 Still, as Butler notes, America’s Christian fundamentalists and far-right Republicans are fervently in the anti-gender vanguard, whether or not these groups actually use the word gender. Katha Pollitt, The Atlantic, 25 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for vanguard 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vanguard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Dictionary Entries Near vanguard

Cite this Entry

“Vanguard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vanguard. Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

vanguard

noun
van·​guard ˈvan-ˌgärd How to pronounce vanguard (audio)
1
: the troops moving at the head of an army
2
: the forefront of an action or movement
Etymology

Middle English vauntgard "the troops moving at the head of an army," from early French vantgarde, avantgarde (same meaning), derived from avant- "fore-, in front" and garde "guard"

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