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[uh-hed] /əˈhɛd/
in or to the front; in advance of; before:
Walk ahead of us.
in a forward direction; onward; forward:
The line of cars moved ahead slowly.
into or for the future:
Plan ahead.
so as to register a later time:
to set the clock ahead.
at or to a different time, either earlier or later:
to push a deadline ahead one day from Tuesday to Monday; to push a deadline ahead one day from Tuesday to Wednesday.
onward toward success; to a more advantageous position; upward in station:
There's a young man who is sure to get ahead.
ahead of,
  1. in front of; before:
    He ran ahead of me.
  2. superior to; beyond:
    materially ahead of other countries.
  3. in advance of; at an earlier time than:
    We got there ahead of the other guests.
be ahead,
  1. to be winning:
    Our team is ahead by two runs.
  2. to be in a position of advantage; be benefiting:
    His score in mathematics is poor, but he's ahead in foreign languages.
Origin of ahead
1590-1600; a-1 + head Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for ahead
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Just ahead, if the blueprints were right, was the door to the control room.

    The Misplaced Battleship Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)
  • Would he, had he known the bitter years ahead of him, have chosen the same, she wondered.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • You always get ahead of me with twenty plans while I'm thinking up one.

    Ben Pepper Margaret Sidney
  • Sink her to three feet, Castellan, and then ahead full speed.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • The rapids were ahead and the fire behind and on either side.

British Dictionary definitions for ahead


(postpositive) in front; in advance
at or in the front; in advance; before
onwards; forwards: go straight ahead
ahead of
  1. in front of; at a further advanced position than
  2. (stock exchange) in anticipation of: the share price rose ahead of the annual figures
(informal) be ahead, to have an advantage; be winning: to be ahead on points
get ahead, to advance or attain success
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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Word Origin and History for ahead

1620s, "at the head, in front," from a- "on" (see a- (1)) + head (n.). Originally nautical. To be ahead of (one's) time attested by 1837.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for ahead


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for ahead


Association on Higher Education and Disability
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with ahead
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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