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

  • noun The forward part or surface, as of a building.
  • noun The area, location, or position directly before or ahead.
  • noun A position of leadership or superiority.
  • noun The forehead or face, especially of a bird or other animal.
  • noun Demeanor or bearing, especially in the presence of danger or difficulty.
  • noun An outward, often feigned, appearance or manner.
  • noun Land bordering a lake, river, or street.
  • noun A promenade along the water at a resort.
  • noun A detachable part of a man's dress shirt covering the chest; a dickey.
  • noun The most forward line of a combat force.
  • noun The area of contact between opposing combat forces; a battlefront.
  • noun Meteorology The interface between air masses of different temperatures or densities.
  • noun A field of activity.
  • noun A group or movement uniting various individuals or organizations for the achievement of a common purpose; a coalition.
  • noun A nominal leader lacking in real authority; a figurehead.
  • noun An apparently respectable person, group, or business used as a cover for secret or illegal activities.
  • noun The first part; the beginning.
  • noun The face; the countenance.
  • adjective Of, relating to, aimed at, or located in the front.
  • adjective Linguistics Designating vowels produced at or toward the front of the oral cavity, such as the vowels of green and get.
  • intransitive verb To look out on; face.
  • intransitive verb To meet in opposition; confront.
  • intransitive verb To provide a front for.
  • intransitive verb To serve as a front for.
  • intransitive verb Music To lead (a group of musicians).
  • intransitive verb Informal To provide before payment.
  • intransitive verb Linguistics To move (a word or phrase) to the beginning of a clause or sentence, typically for emphasis or contrast.
  • intransitive verb Linguistics To cause (a vowel) to be pronounced farther toward the front of the oral cavity.
  • intransitive verb To have a front; face onto something else.
  • intransitive verb To provide an apparently respectable cover for secret or illegal activities.
  • interjection Used by a desk clerk in a hotel to summon a bellhop.
  • idiom (front and center) In the most prominent position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In theat, language: That part of a theater which, from the actor's point of view, lies in front of the curtain; the auditorium or audience part; hence, the audience itself: as, to be in the front.
  • noun Everybody engaged to work before the curtain.
  • noun Milit., the entire system of defenses constructed along one side of the polygon inclosing the site to be fortified: as, a bastion or polygonal front.
  • noun The forehead-piece of a bridle, generally of leather with metal trimmings.
  • noun The exterior surface of a lock mortised into a door; the portion of a lock that is visible and through which the bolt, passes; in a rim-lock, the end facing the doorframe.
  • noun In entomology, practically the forehead; the part of the face between the eyes and between the vertex and the clypeus.
  • In phonology, modified in utterance by the configuration of the central portion of the front or upper side of the tongue.
  • To meet face to face; come into the presence of; confront.
  • To oppose face to face; oppose directly; encounter.
  • To stand in front of, or opposed or opposite to, or over against; face.
  • To supply with a front; furnish or adorn in front: as, to front a house with granite.
  • To have the face or front toward some point of the compass or some object; be in a confronting or opposed position.
  • To stand foremost.


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin frōns, front-, forehead, front.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French front (noun), fronter (verb), from Latin frons ("forehead").


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