- the foremost line or part of an army.
- a line of battle.
- the place where combat operations are carried on.
- the auditorium.
- the business offices of a theater.
- the front of the stage; downstage.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- frondizi, arturo,
- front and center,
- front bench,
- front bottom,
- front burner,
- front burner, on a
- ahead of: to walk in front of a moving crowd.
- outside the entrance of: to wait in front of a house.
- in the presence of: to behave badly in front of company.
- outside the entrance: He's waiting out front.
- ahead of competitors: This advertising campaign ought to put our business way out front.
- Theater. in the audience or auditorium.
- Informal. candidly; frankly: Say what you mean out front.
- in advance; before anything else: You'll have to make a payment of $5,000 up front.
- frank; open; direct: I want you to be up front with me.
Origin of front
- the total area in which opposing armies face each other
- the lateral space in which a military unit or formation is operatingto advance on a broad front
- the direction in which troops are facing when in a formed line
Word Origin 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.
in front of
Facing someone or a group, as in He was shy about speaking in front of a large audience. [Early 1600s]
In someone's presence, as in Let's not fight in front of the children. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with front
- front and center
- front burner, on a
- front office
- brave face (front)
- in front of
- out front
- up front