1. The foremost position in an army or fleet advancing into battle.
a. The foremost or leading position in a trend or movement.
b. Those occupying a foremost position.
[Middle English vandgard, from avaunt garde, from Old French : avaunt, before (from Latin abante; see ADVANCE) + garde, guard (from garder, to guard; see GUARD).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.