avant-garde

[uh-vahnt-gahrd, uh-vant-, av-ahnt-, ah-vahnt-; French a-vahn-gard]
noun
1.
the advance group in any field, especially in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods.
adjective
2.
of or pertaining to the experimental treatment of artistic, musical, or literary material.
3.
belonging to the avant-garde: an avant-garde composer.
4.
unorthodox or daring; radical.

Origin:
1475–85; in sense “vanguard”; < French: literally, fore-guard. See vanguard

avant-gardist, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
avant-garde (ˌævɒŋˈɡɑːd, French avɑ̃ɡard)
 
n
1.  those artists, writers, musicians, etc, whose techniques and ideas are markedly experimental or in advance of those generally accepted
 
adj
2.  of such artists, etc, their ideas, or techniques
3.  radical; daring
 
[from French: vanguard]
 
avant-'gardism
 
n
 
avant-'gardist
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

avant-garde
(also avant garde, avantgarde); Fr., lit. "advance guard" (see avant + guard). Used in Eng. 15c.-18c. in a literal, military sense; borrowed again 1910 as an artistic term for "pioneers or innovators of a particular period."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for avantgarde
In the following years he gained a notable reputation in the local avantgarde community.
The style of these works was an unusual blend of popular jazz and the avantgarde.
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