From an aphetism of Anglo-Norman avantwarde, a variant of Old French avant-guarde.



vaward ‎(plural vawards)

  1. The vanguard.
    • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book II, chapter x:
      THenne kyng Arthur made redy his hoost in x batails and Nero was redy in the felde afore the castel Tarabil with a grete hoost / & he had x batails with many mo peple than Arthur had / Thenne Nero had the vaward with the moost party of his peple / & merlyn cam to kyng lot of the yle of Orkeney
    • 1988, Anthony Burgess, Any Old Iron:
      Then they were marched off to the railway station with the band in the vaward playing ‘Have you ever caught your ballocks in a rat trap?’
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