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advance guard

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for advance guard
Historical Examples
  • He felt that such as these were the advance guard of all human enterprise.

    The Golden Woman Ridgwell Cullum
  • We've just received the first communique from the advance guard, sir.

    Martian V.F.W. G.L. Vandenburg
  • It was the advance guard of the great army that had entered Togarog.

    Rabbi and Priest

    Milton Goldsmith
  • The advance guard had suffered, but their fire had quelled that of the enemy.

  • Colonel Wilkinson, commanding the advance guard, ordered up the guns.

  • The pioneer and airship divisions are placed with the advance guard.

    Operations Upon the Sea Franz Edelsheim
  • It varies in strength from one-fourth to one-half of the advance guard.

  • “They form the advance guard of our foes,” said the burgomaster.

    The Lily of Leyden W.H.G. Kingston
  • There goes an advance guard of the foot, marching to the front of the horse.

    Marcus: the Young Centurion George Manville Fenn
  • This is bad enough, but it is a mere skirmish—only the advance guard of the enemy.

    Six Months at the Cape R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for advance guard

advance guard

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
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