(of money, costs, etc) required or incurred in advance of a project in order to get it under way
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

Examples from the Web for front-end

  • Well, I was working as, open-head crane operator, and painter and front-end loader.

    Warren Commission (7 of 26): Hearings Vol. VII (of 15)|The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • The job of front-end brakeman on a mountain division is no great stake for a man ordinarily, but it was one for me, just then.

    Held for Orders|Frank H. Spearman
  • Figure 26 is a front-end view of the trap, on a scale three times that of fig. 25, and shows the details of the door.

    The Apple|Various