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forefront

If you're at the forefront, you're either the very first to do something or you're in the most important position. Inventing an effective new vaccine would put a scientist at the forefront of modern medicine.

The word forefront has been used since the 1600s to mean "front part." Originally, it referred to architecture — you might have commented on the way windows were placed on the forefront of a building, for example. Later, it was used to describe the soldiers at the very front of an advancing army. Today when we talk about the forefront, we usually mean the highest ranking place or position: "She's an amazing comic book artist who's at the forefront of contemporary graphic art."

Definitions of forefront
  1. noun
    the part in the front or nearest the viewer
    “he was in the forefront
    synonyms: head
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    type of:
    forepart, front, front end
    the side that is forward or prominent
  2. noun
    the position of greatest importance or advancement; the leading position in any movement or field
    “the Cotswolds were once at the forefront of woollen manufacturing in England”
    “the idea of motion was always to the forefront of his mind and central to his philosophy”
    synonyms: cutting edge, vanguard
    see moresee less
    type of:
    perspective, position, view
    a way of regarding situations or topics etc.
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