What does avant-garde mean?

Definitions for avant-garde
əˌvɑntˈgɑrd, əˌvænt-, ˌæv ɑnt-, ˌɑ vɑnt-; Fr. a vɑ̃ˈgardavan·t-garde

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word avant-garde.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. avant-garde, vanguard, van, new waveadjective

    any creative group active in the innovation and application of new concepts and techniques in a given field (especially in the arts)

  2. avant-garde, daringadjective

    radically new or original

    "an avant-garde theater piece"


  1. avant-gardenoun

    The most advanced group of people in any field of endeavor, especially in literary and artistic work, usually characterized by new ideas and experimental techniques.

  2. avant-gardeadjective

    Of, pertaining to, or belonging to the avant-garde.

  3. avant-gardeadjective

    Characterized by the use of experimental techniques; modern; daring; radical.


  1. avant-gardenoun

    The vanguard of an army or other force.

  2. avant-gardenoun

    Any group of people who invent or promote new techniques or concepts, especially in the arts.

  3. avant-gardeadjective

    Innovative, pioneering, especially when extremely or obviously so.

    It was a very avant-garde production.


  1. Avant-garde

    In the arts and in literature, the term avant-garde (advance guard and vanguard) identifies a genre of art, an experimental work of art, and the experimental artist who created the work of art, which usually is aesthetically innovative, whilst initially being ideologically unacceptable to the artistic Establishment of the time. The military metaphor of an advance guard identifies the artists and writers whose innovations in style, form, and subject-matter challenge the artistic and aesthetic validity of the established forms of art and the literary traditions of their time; thus how the artists who created the anti-novel and Surrealism were ahead of their times.As a stratum of the intelligentsia of a society, avant-garde artists promote progressive and radical politics and advocate for societal reform with and through works of art. In the essay "The Artist, the Scientist, and the Industrialist" (1825) Benjamin Olinde Rodrigues’s political usage of vanguard identified the moral obligation of artists to "serve as [the] avant-garde" of the people, because "the power of the arts is, indeed, the most immediate and fastest way" to realise social, political, and economic reforms.In the realm of culture, the artistic experiments of the avant-garde push the aesthetic boundaries of societal norms, such as the disruptions of modernism in poetry, fiction, and drama, painting, music, and architecture, the occurred in the late 19th and in the early 20th centuries. In art history the socio-cultural functions of avant-garde art trace from Dada (1915–1920s) through the Situationist International (1957–1972) to the Postmodernism of the American Language poets (1960s–1970s).


  1. avant-garde

    Avant-garde refers to people, works, or activities that are experimental, innovative, or unconventional, often pushing the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or status quo in the fields of art, culture, and society. It typically represents a pioneering or progressive stance and challenges established traditions or conventions. The term originated from French language and was initially used in military, denoting the front line or vanguard troops.


  1. Avant-garde

    Avant-garde; from French, "advance guard" or "vanguard" refers to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics. Avant-garde represents a pushing of the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo, primarily in the cultural realm. The notion of the existence of the avant-garde is considered by some to be a hallmark of modernism, as distinct from postmodernism. Many artists have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so, tracing a history from Dada through the Situationists to postmodern artists such as the Language poets around 1981. The term also refers to the promotion of radical social reforms. It was this meaning that was evoked by the Saint Simonian Olinde Rodrigues in his essay, "L'artiste, le savant et l'industriel", which contains the first recorded use of "avant-garde" in its now-customary sense: there, Rodrigues calls on artists to "serve as [the people's] avant-garde", insisting that "the power of the arts is indeed the most immediate and fastest way" to social, political, and economic reform. Over time, avant-garde became associated with movements concerned with "art for art's sake", focusing primarily on expanding the frontiers of aesthetic experience, rather than with wider social reform.

How to pronounce avant-garde?

How to say avant-garde in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of avant-garde in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of avant-garde in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of avant-garde in a Sentence

  1. Paul Pairet:

    I chose Shanghai because there was already the ingredients. Obviously, the power of Shanghai, the energy of Shanghai... to free up Western cuisine based on curiosity, all these ingredients are very important, especially for the avant-garde.

  2. Vladan Kuzmanovic:

    The avant-garde is a connotation, every act here is a connotative value. The whole series of avant-garde movements do not signify, and yet their concepts are reconnotation.

  3. Jason Carey:

    We have Asian collectors, we have new buyers, we have collectors of contemporary art who are looking back to the avant-garde as well like artists such as Leger, there's really competing forces.

  4. Codistan Venture:

    n the rapidly evolving realm of technology, MVP (Minimum Viable Product) development agencies have emerged as pivotal players, shaping the trajectory of successful digital products. Taking the lead in this transformative landscape is Codistan Venture, an avant-garde company that exemplifies the dynamic potential of MVP-centered strategies in propelling innovation and achieving product excellence.

  5. Vladan Kuzmanović:

    The avant-garde is attitude, principle, set of activities, set of performances, articulatory forms, positive objects and processes.

Translations for avant-garde

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"avant-garde." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/avant-garde>.

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    the act of making a noisy disturbance
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