in or to the front; in advance of; before: Walk ahead of us.
in a forward direction; onward; forward: The line of cars moved ahead slowly.
into or for the future: Plan ahead.
so as to register a later time: to set the clock ahead.
at or to a different time, either earlier or later: to push a deadline ahead one day from Tuesday to Monday; to push a deadline ahead one day from Tuesday to Wednesday.
onward toward success; to a more advantageous position; upward in station: There's a young man who is sure to get ahead.
ahead of,
in front of; before: He ran ahead of me.
superior to; beyond: materially ahead of other countries.
in advance of; at an earlier time than: We got there ahead of the other guests.
be ahead,
to be winning: Our team is ahead by two runs.
to be in a position of advantage; be benefiting: His score in mathematics is poor, but he's ahead in foreign languages.

1590–1600; a-1 + head

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
ahead (əˈhɛd)
1.  (postpositive) in front; in advance
2.  at or in the front; in advance; before
3.  onwards; forwards: go straight ahead
4.  ahead of
 a.  in front of; at a further advanced position than
 b.  stock exchange in anticipation of: the share price rose ahead of the annual figures
5.  informal be ahead to have an advantage; be winning: to be ahead on points
6.  get ahead to advance or attain success

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1620s, "at the head, in front," from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + head.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Association on Higher Education and Disability
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with ahead, also see come out ahead; dead ahead; full speed ahead; get ahead; go ahead; one jump ahead; quit while one's ahead.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
They say that while volatility increases at the beginning of a crisis, it is
  unreliable as a leading indicator of trouble ahead.
We think society moves forward, generation after generation, ahead and ahead
  and ahead.
Remembering that at present, and doubtless long ahead, a certain humility would
  well become us.
Obviously this list is far ahead of the public inclination.
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