from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The foremost position in an army or fleet advancing into battle.
- n. The foremost or leading position in a trend or movement.
- n. Those occupying a foremost position.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The leading units at the front of an army or fleet.
- n. The person(s) at the forefront of any group or movement.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The troops who march in front of an army; the advance guard; the van.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A detachment of an army whose duty it is to guard against surprise from the front and to clear the way; the van. Compare van.
- To stand as a guard before.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the position of greatest importance or advancement; the leading position in any movement or field
- n. any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)
- n. the leading units moving at the head of an army
Middle English vandgard, from avaunt garde, from Old French : avaunt, before (from Latin abante; see advance) + garde, guard (from garder, to guard; see guard).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Earlier forms vandgard and (a)vantgard, derived from Old French, avan(t)garde from avant (before) + garde (guard). (Wiktionary)