Definition of vanguard in English:


See synonyms for vanguard

Translate vanguard into Spanish


  • 1A group of people leading the way in new developments or ideas.

    ‘the experimental spirit of the modernist vanguard’
    • ‘It must regain its original role as the vanguard of the working class in its struggle for true emancipation.’
    • ‘Alpine is a small but rapidly growing town in the foothills near the edge of the Cleveland National Forest, a vanguard settlement of one of San Diego's many suburban tendrils.’
    • ‘They are the vanguard of a social revolution and will have a huge influence on the shape of society in the next two decades.’
    • ‘Student activists abandoned conservative blue collar politics and proclaimed themselves the vanguard of social change.’
    • ‘The role of the artist is to act as the vanguard of humanity's search for meaning.’
    • ‘For over a decade now, bhangra music has been the vanguard for Asian culture's crossover into the mainstream.’
    • ‘Some protest about the idea of a vanguard, a party offering leadership to the working class, a notion they denounce as ‘elitist’.’
    • ‘In that case, some of the core countries, led by France and Germany, would almost certainly try to go ahead on their own, in a self-styled vanguard group.’
    • ‘In this view, the British and the Danes were the main problem, though there have also been fears that Central and East Europeans may impede the Union's development unless a vanguard can proceed without them.’
    • ‘College graduates are the vanguard of a cultural shift away from divorce.’
    • ‘Social realism became the vanguard in the African American struggle for equality and racial justice in Depression-era America.’
    • ‘Moreover, this state was controlled by a party that considered itself a vanguard in a backward society, mobilizing and transforming its citizens.’
    • ‘Women were no less prominent than men in resistance, and they may even have been in the vanguard, particularly in cultural resistance.’
    • ‘His greatest contribution to his whole epoch was his determined struggle to build a vanguard party capable of leading the workers in revolution.’
    • ‘I'm nostalgic for the vanguard feminism of the past!’
    • ‘It does not require conspiracy-theorist paranoia to wonder if this is in fact a vanguard action to assess how a ban might work in England and Wales.’
    • ‘In Thailand, young women who sell beauty products are perceived as a vanguard of modernity whose independent income repositions them in relation to family and kin.’
    • ‘The fashion vanguard will have to develop new strategies to resist the taunts of the uncultured.’
    • ‘The political groups aspiring to power today emerged in the late 1980s and formed a vanguard of the independence movement.’
    • ‘We are the vanguard of the new civil rights movement.’
    1. 1.1A position at the forefront of new developments or ideas.
      ‘the prototype was in the vanguard of technical development’
      • ‘Now we are at the centre of European and international politics - negotiating EU treaties and occupying a prominent position in the vanguard of the Information Age.’
      • ‘He argues that the creation of three new rail stations, the introduction of park-and-ride facilities and the opening up of greenways for buses places the city in the vanguard of 21st-century urban development.’
      • ‘Even though the Bay Area was not in the vanguard of developing a distinct hip-hop style, audiences and dancers have embraced it with a vengeance.’
      • ‘Since then, the company has stayed in the vanguard of the market by consistently promoting technology standardization and adopting state-of-the-art technologies ahead of others.’
      • ‘He pointed out that track cycling was in the vanguard of Scottish international sport.’
      • ‘The plan coincides with a nationwide scheme by English Heritage called ‘Save Our Streets’, and when York's plans are adopted it will put the city in the vanguard of that campaign.’
      • ‘What the company needs is a new vision of itself - one that motivates employees, excites investors, and places it once again in the vanguard of an industry on the march.’
      • ‘It is no wonder that islands, stationed on the front lines of both the rising tides of climate change and a vulnerability to high oil prices, are in the vanguard of the hydrogen push.’
      • ‘His carefully negotiated product loyalties place him in the vanguard of a powerful new industry.’
      • ‘News last week that the UK is close to setting up the world's first stem cell bank was hailed as another step in the right direction, putting Britain firmly in the vanguard of stem cell research.’
      • ‘We want Australians to be in the vanguard of the worldwide knowledge revolution.’
      • ‘In the vanguard of the movement is a consortium of new free-market think tanks.’
      • ‘The medical profession has been in the vanguard of the struggle against smoking for 50 years.’
      • ‘Today it is people with two degrees who may be expected to be in the vanguard of the struggle.’
      • ‘It shows that we are moving in the right direction and we are at the vanguard nationally of integrating our children's and family services with education.’
      • ‘They are at the vanguard of the technical revolution, cramming their homes with more and more of the latest gadgets.’
      • ‘I'm just not sure that being on the vanguard of this particular social movement will be much help.’
      • ‘Over the years the economic ebb and flow dictated political change, with the educated middle classes typically at the vanguard of reform movements.’
      • ‘‘It is also quite meaningful that Asian countries are in the vanguard for this bright move to the future in the world of racing,’ he added.’
      • ‘They sounds like a band having fun again, no longer feeling the pressure of being at the vanguard of popular rock.’
      forefront, van, advance guard, avant-garde, spearhead, front, front line, front rank, fore, lead, leading position, cutting edge, driving force
      View synonyms
  • 2The foremost part of an advancing army or naval force.

    ‘The vanguard of the army began crossing the river in late afternoon on 6 April.’
    • ‘Two hundred and four warriors formed the vanguard of the army.’
    • ‘Nelson's tactics slicing the enemy line ensured the vanguard played a negligible role in the battle which followed.’
    • ‘If the vanguard gets too far ahead of the supply train, it will run short of food, fuel and ammunition.’
    • ‘Having been in the vanguard of the attack at the beginning of the battle they had lost most of their tanks and were rehorsed in Grants and Shermans for the second main attack on the 2nd of November.’



/ˈvanˌɡärd/ /ˈvænˌɡɑrd/


Late Middle English (denoting the foremost part of an army): shortening of Old French avan(t)garde, from avant ‘before’ + garde ‘guard’.