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vanguard (noun) (Of an army or navy) the part of an army or navy at the front in the attack against the enemy; leaders of a movement in art, politics, science, etc.
Soldiers or ships at the front of an army or a group of ships, moving to attack the enemy are the vanguard. The vanguard is the advanced group of soldiers or ships, to be followed by the main part of the army or group of ships, moving in to attack the enemy. To be in the vanguard is also to be in an advanced position in any field. A vanguard in scientific progress is a party or an individual, is in the leading position in the scientific progress. Japan is the vanguard of robotics. That is to say that Japan is in an advanced or leading position in the field of robotics.
- The vanguard itself was of considerable size. The leading party of the army to be followed by the main part of the army was itself a large group and that really scared the enemy.
- The party always claimed to be the vanguard of the economic progress of the country. Its point was that it was the first party, much ahead of the other parties in the country, to lead the country to great economic progress.