Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. On or towards the front.
  • adv. Towards the front.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Being on, or towards, the van, or front.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or situated in the van or front.
  • n. The advance-guard of an army when on the march. Compare rearward.

Etymologies

van +‎ -ward (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In the vanward, or vanguard; misprinted "vanward" in some editions.

    The Lady of the Lake

  • Its vanward cohorts heralding, in crimson, green, and gold.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 339, January, 1844

  • These were the persons, -- the two extremities of exalted and forlorn humanity, its vanward and its rearward man, a Roman consul and an abject slave.

    The Art of Public Speaking

  • First, it is to be considered that every of the captains with the said ships appointed by this order to the vanward, battle and wing shall ride at anchor according as they be appointed to sail by the said order; and no ship of any of the said wards or wing shall presume to come to an anchor before the admiral of the said ward.

    Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX.

  • _Item_, when we shall see a convenient time to fight with the enemies our vanward shall make with their vanward if they have any; and if they be in one company, our vanward, taking the advantage of the wind, shall set upon their foremost rank, bringing them out of order; and our vice-admiral shall seek to board their vice-admiral, and every captain shall choose his equal as near as he may.

    Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX.

  • [1] The articles are preceded, like the first ones, by a list of ships or 'battle order,' showing an organisation into a vanward, main body

    Fighting Instructions, 1530-1816 Publications Of The Navy Records Society Vol. XXIX.

  • And these set forth like the blast of violent winds, that rushes earthward beneath the thunder of Zeus, and with marvellous din doth mingle with the salt sea, and therein are many swelling waves of the loud roaring sea, arched over and white with foam, some vanward, others in the rear; even so the Trojans arrayed in van and rear and shining with bronze, followed after their leaders.

    The Iliad

  • A man should be only partially before his time -- to be completely to the vanward in aspirations is fatal to fame.

    The Return of the Native

  • The vanward flights of twirling flakes came on then, as if suddenly unleashed, the wind sprang up, and the great fight began.

    A Dream of the North Sea

  • These tears were a vanward wave of the sea to follow; the rising of her voice to heaven was no more than a twitter of the earliest dawn before the coming of her soul's outcry.

    Vittoria — Complete

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  • "There was a listening fear in her regard,
    As if calamity had but begun;
    As if the vanward clouds of evil days
    Had spent their malice, and the sullen rear
    Was with its stored thunder labouring up."

    - Keats, Hyperion

    February 12, 2008