AskDefine | Define vanguard

Dictionary Definition



1 the leading units moving at the head of an army [syn: van]
2 any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts) [syn: avant-garde, van, new wave]
3 the position of greatest advancement; the leading position in any movement or field [syn: forefront, cutting edge]

User Contributed Dictionary



Earlier forms vandgard and (a)vantgard, derived from old French, avan(t)garde from avant (before) + garde (guard)


  1. The leading units at the front of an army or fleet.
  2. (by extension) The persons at the forefront of any group or movement.


leading units of an army
forefront of any group or movement


Extensive Definition

A vanguard is the forward element of an advancing military tactical formation. Vanguard may also refer to:








Comics and anime

Games and toys


Other uses

See also

vanguard in German: Vanguard
vanguard in French: Vanguard
vanguard in Croatian: Vanguard
vanguard in Ido: Avan gardo
vanguard in Japanese: ヴァンガード
vanguard in Polish: Awangarda
vanguard in Russian: Vanguard
vanguard in Slovak: Vanguard
vanguard in Ukrainian: Авангард

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advance guard, airhead, ancestor, announcer, antecedent, armed guard, avant-garde, bank guard, battle line, beachhead, bellwether, bridgehead, buccinator, bushwhacker, coast guard, cordon, cordon sanitaire, explorer, farthest outpost, first line, forebear, forefront, foregoer, forerunner, front, front line, front rank, front runner, front-runner, frontiersman, fugleman, garrison, goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender, groundbreaker, guard, guarder, guardsman, guide, harbinger, herald, inlying picket, innovation, innovator, jailer, latest fad, latest fashion, latest wrinkle, lead runner, leader, line, messenger, new look, newfangled device, novelty, outguard, outpost, pathfinder, picket, pioneer, point, precedent, precursor, predecessor, railhead, rear guard, scout, security guard, spearhead, stormy petrel, the in thing, the last word, the latest thing, trailblazer, trailbreaker, train guard, van, vaunt-courier, voortrekker, warder
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