- a body of troops going before the main force to clear the way, guard against surprise, etc.
Origin of advance guard
First recorded in 1750–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for advance guard
The Boers must be close up, for the advance-guard is falling back.On the Heels of De Wet
The Intelligence Officer
This advance-guard consisted of his inferior officers and baggage.An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet
A. Henry Savage Landor
So he commanded the advance-guard to turn back and go by the other road.
I don't think that there were more than 400 or 500, evidently the advance-guard.South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6)
Then uttering a sharp order, the advance-guard bore off to the left.The King's Esquires
George Manville Fenn
- a military unit sent ahead of a main body to find gaps in enemy defences, clear away minor opposition, and prevent unexpected contact
- a temporary military detachment sent ahead of a force to prepare for a landing or other operation, esp by making reconnaissance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012