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

in front of; before:
He ran ahead of me.
superior to; beyond:
materially ahead of other countries.
in advance of; at an earlier time than:
We got there ahead of the other guests.

be ahead,

to be winning:
Our team is ahead by two runs.
to be in a position of advantage; be benefiting:
His score in mathematics is poor, but he’s ahead in foreign languages.

Contemporary Examples

ahead of entering the Big House in Fort Worth, Texas, he told the press: “I will be a model prisoner as I was a model citizen.”
Vote for the (Alleged) Crooks! How Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker are Running While Under Investigation Olivia Nuzzi August 28, 2014

Based on the way they sprang into action on Friday, his family had more than an inkling of what might be ahead.
SB Shooting Prompts Question: Should Parents of Mentally Ill Adults Be Able To Commit Them? Eleanor Clift May 29, 2014

But it seems pretty clear that the EU has plans to make such plans, and this issue is going to be pressed in the months ahead.
After the Israel Synagogue Massacre: A New Intifada? Michael Tomasky November 18, 2014

The firm, for instance, has problems in the credit card debt areas, and tough times are ahead.
Is Jamie Dimon the Next to Fall? Charlie Gasparino January 4, 2009

Their idea, developed in the late 1940s and patented 60 years ago this fall, turned out to be ahead of its time.
RIP to the Man Behind the Ubiquitous Bar Code David Frum December 12, 2012

Historical Examples

Just ahead, if the blueprints were right, was the door to the control room.
The Misplaced Battleship Harry Harrison (AKA Henry Maxwell Dempsey)

We are very fortunate to have a little rain-water, or we could not get ahead.
Explorations in Australia John Forrest

You always get ahead of me with twenty plans while I’m thinking up one.
Ben Pepper Margaret Sidney

I told the party we were now close, and showed them the low table-land just ahead.
Explorations in Australia John Forrest

The rapids were ahead and the fire behind and on either side.
How Deacon Tubman and Parson Whitney Kept New Year’s W. H. H. Murray

(postpositive) in front; in advance
at or in the front; in advance; before
onwards; forwards: go straight ahead
ahead of

in front of; at a further advanced position than
(stock exchange) in anticipation of: the share price rose ahead of the annual figures

(informal) be ahead, to have an advantage; be winning: to be ahead on points
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.

Related Terms

come out ahead, straight-ahead
Association on Higher Education and Disability

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


Read Also:

  • Ahead of one’s time

    In advance of current ideas, customs, or methods, as in His treatment of light showed this painter to be well ahead of his time, or Wearing trousers and smoking cigars marked Amy Lowell as a woman ahead of her time. This idiom uses time in the sense of “era” or “generation,” a usage at least […]

  • Ahead of the curve

    a continuously bending line, without angles. the act or extent of curving. any curved outline, form, thing, or part. a curved section of a road, path, hallway, etc. Railroads. a curved section of track: in the U.S. the curve is often expressed as the central angle, measured in degrees, of a curved section of track […]

  • Ahead of time

    the system of those sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present, or future; indefinite and continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another. duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity; finite duration. (sometimes initial capital letter) […]

  • Ahead of the game

    ahead of the game adverb phrase In a winning or advantageous position: Hard as I try, I can’t seem to get ahead of the game In a position of advantage, especially financially; succeeding or winning. For example, If we can sell 2,000 units of this product by next month, we’ll be well ahead of the […]

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