[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. ahaus,
  2. ahaz,
  3. ahaziah,
  4. ahchoo,
  5. ahe,
  6. ahead of one's time,
  7. ahead of the game,
  8. ahead of time,
  9. ahem,
  10. ahemeral


    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

First recorded in 1590–1600; a-1 + head

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ahead

British Dictionary definitions for ahead


/ (əˈhɛd) /


(postpositive) in front; in advance


at or in the front; in advance; before
onwards; forwardsgo straight ahead
ahead of
  1. in front of; at a further advanced position than
  2. stock exchangein anticipation ofthe share price rose ahead of the annual figures
be ahead informal to have an advantage; be winningto 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

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

Idioms and Phrases with ahead


In addition to the idioms beginning with ahead

  • ahead of one's time
  • ahead of the game
  • ahead of time

also see:

  • come out ahead
  • dead ahead
  • full speed ahead
  • get ahead
  • go ahead
  • one jump ahead
  • quit while one's ahead
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.