Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A group that creates or promotes innovative ideas or techniques in a given field, especially in the arts.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being part of an innovative group, especially one in the arts.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Advance-guard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of, pertaining to, or belonging to the avant-garde.
  • adjective Characterized by the use of experimental techniques; modern; daring; radical.
  • noun The most advanced group of people in any field of endeavor, especially in literary and artistic work, usually characterized by new ideas and experimental techniques.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete The vanguard of an army or other force.
  • noun Any group of people who invent or promote new techniques or concepts, especially in the arts.
  • adjective Innovative, pioneering, especially when extremely or obviously so.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)
  • adjective radically new or original

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, vanguard; see vanguard.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French avant-garde ("vanguard")

Examples

  • The Academy Award nominations also took note of what some were calling an avant-garde American film.

    The Movies That Changed Us

  • The Academy Award nominations also took note of what some were calling an avant-garde American film.

    The Movies That Changed Us

  • The Academy Award nominations also took note of what some were calling an avant-garde American film.

    The Movies That Changed Us

  • The very term avant-garde implies an anticipation of society's will: the artist as advance guard, foreseeing trends or events to come.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Mr. Jacobs, a beloved figure in American avant-garde cinema, has long been invested in a mode he considers far more natural than the two-dimensional standard.

    Watching in Another Dimension

  • “Monsier Girou is what we might call an avant-garde astronomer,” he said.

    The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

  • “Monsier Girou is what we might call an avant-garde astronomer,” he said.

    The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

  • “Monsier Girou is what we might call an avant-garde astronomer,” he said.

    The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre

  • It also provides a condensed primer to some of the issues at stake in American avant-garde cinema, which, partly because of its historical opposition to the dictates of commercial mainstream moviemaking and partly because it resists commodification unlike, say, abstract painting, oppositional cinema doesn't rack up big sales at Sotheby's, has been relegated to the status of museum pieces and festival marginalia.

    NYT > Home Page

  • It also provides a condensed primer to some of the issues at stake in American avant-garde cinema, which, partly because of its historical opposition to the dictates of commercial mainstream moviemaking and partly because it resists commodification unlike, say, abstract painting, oppositional cinema doesn't rack up big sales at Sotheby's, has been relegated to the status of museum pieces and festival marginalia.

    NYT > Home Page

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