Vanguards

vanguard

[van-gahrd]
noun
1.
the foremost division or the front part of an army; advance guard; van.
2.
the forefront in any movement, field, activity, or the like.
3.
the leaders of any intellectual or political movement.
4.
(initial capital letter) Rocketry. a U.S. three-stage, satellite-launching rocket, the first two stages powered by liquid-propellant engines and the third by a solid-propellant engine.

Origin:
1480–90; earlier van(d)gard(e) < Middle French avangarde, variant of avant-garde; see avaunt, guard

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World English Dictionary
vanguard (ˈvænˌɡɑːd)
 
n
1.  the leading division or units of a military force
2.  the leading position in any movement or field, or the people who occupy such a position: the vanguard of modern literature
 
[C15: from Old French avant-garde, from avant- fore- + gardeguard]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

vanguard
c.1450, vaunt garde, from M.Fr. avant-garde, from avant "in front" + garde "guard." Communist revolutionary sense is recorded from 1928.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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