in front, in a forward place or position: Sit down, you in front!
    in front of,
    1. ahead of: to walk in front of a moving crowd.
    2. outside the entrance of: to wait in front of a house.
    3. in the presence of: to behave badly in front of company.
    out front,
    1. outside the entrance: He's waiting out front.
    2. ahead of competitors: This advertising campaign ought to put our business way out front.
    3. the audience or auditorium.
    4. Informal.candidly; frankly: Say what you mean out front.
    up front, Informal.
    1. in advance; before anything else: You'll have to make a payment of $5,000 up front.
    2. frank; open; direct: I want you to be up front with me.

Origin of front

1250–1300; Middle English frount, front < Anglo-French, Old French < Latin front- (stem of frōns) forehead, brow, front
Related formsun·front·ed, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for front

Contemporary Examples of front

Historical Examples of front

  • Will madame be so good to enter our petit salon at the front, n'est-ce-pas?

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I fetched up at an exit on the side street, and there they were directly in front of me.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Then they heard fresh howls and yells in front as well as behind.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • When it is cold, the dog finds a spot in front of the stove.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • In front of Judge Gould's office the combat was at its height.

British Dictionary definitions for front



that part or side that is forward, prominent, or most often seen or used
a position or place directly before or aheada fountain stood at the front of the building
the beginning, opening, or first partthe front of the book
the position of leadership; forefront; vanguardin the front of scientific knowledge
land bordering a lake, street, etc
land along a seashore or large lake, esp a promenade
  1. the total area in which opposing armies face each other
  2. the lateral space in which a military unit or formation is operatingto advance on a broad front
  3. the direction in which troops are facing when in a formed line
meteorol the dividing line or plane between two air masses or water masses of different origins and having different characteristicsSee also warm front, cold front
outward aspect or bearing, as when dealing with a situationa bold front
assurance, overconfidence, or effrontery
informal a business or other activity serving as a respectable cover for another, usually criminal, organization
mainly US a nominal leader of an organization, etc, who lacks real power or authority; figurehead
informal outward appearance of rank or wealth
a particular field of activity involving some kind of struggleon the wages front
a group of people with a common goala national liberation front
a false shirt front; a dicky
archaic the forehead or the face

adjective (prenominal)

of, at, or in the fronta front seat
phonetics of, relating to, or denoting a vowel articulated with the blade of the tongue brought forward and raised towards the hard palate, as for the sound of ee in English see or a in English hat
on the front foot at an advantage, outclassing and outmanoeuvring one's opponents


(when intr, foll by on or onto) to be opposite (to); face (onto)this house fronts the river
(tr) to be a front of or for
(tr) informal to appear as a presenter in (a television show)
(tr) to be the lead singer or player in (a band)
(tr) to confront, esp in hostility or opposition
(tr) to supply a front for
(intr often foll by up) Australian and NZ informal to appear (at)to front up at the police station
Derived Formsfrontless, adjective

Word Origin for front

C13 (in the sense: forehead, face): from Latin frōns forehead, foremost part


abbreviation for

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 front

late 13c., "forehead," from Old French front "forehead, brow" (12c.), from Latin frontem (nominative frons) "forehead, brow, front; facade, forepart; appearance," perhaps literally "that which projects," from PIE *bhront-, from root *bhren- "to project, stand out." Or from PIE *ser-, "base of prepositions and preverbs with the basic meaning 'above, over, up, upper'" [Watkins].

Sense of "foremost part of anything" developed in Latin. The military sense of "foremost part of an army" (mid-14c.) led to the meaning "field of operations in contact with the enemy" (1660s). Home front is from 1919. Sense of "public facade" is from 1891; that of "something serving as a cover for illegal activities" is from 1905. Meteorological sense first recorded 1921. Front yard first attested 1767.


1520s, from Middle French fronter, from Old French front (see front (n.)). Related: Fronted; fronting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

front in Science



The boundary between two air masses that have different temperatures or humidity. In the mid-latitude areas of the Earth, where warm tropical air meets cooler polar air, the systems of fronts define the weather and often cause precipitation to form. Warm air, being lighter than cold air, tends to rise, cool, and condense along such boundaries, forming rain or snow. See also cold front occluded front polar front stationary front warm front.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

front in Culture


In meteorology, the line that forms the boundary between two air masses. Unless they are very similar in temperature and humidity, they will not mix.


Fronts usually produce unstable weather.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with front


In addition to the idioms beginning with front

  • front and center
  • front burner, on a
  • front office

also see:

  • brave face (front)
  • in front of
  • out front
  • up front
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.