1. in or to the front; in advance of; before: Walk ahead of us.
  2. in a forward direction; onward; forward: The line of cars moved ahead slowly.
  3. into or for the future: Plan ahead.
  4. so as to register a later time: to set the clock ahead.
  5. 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.
  6. onward toward success; to a more advantageous position; upward in station: There’s a young man who is sure to get ahead.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.


  1. (postpositive) in front; in advance


  1. at or in the front; in advance; before
  2. onwards; forwardsgo straight ahead
  3. 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
  4. be ahead informal to have an advantage; be winningto be ahead on points
  5. get ahead to advance or attain success

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.

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

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