Adjective "avant-garde" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


New and experimental ideas and methods in art, music, or literature.
  1. 'This genre intersects the literary avant-garde, visual and concrete poetry, text-based installations, net art, software art, and netspeak.'
  2. 'I got into medieval music and the avant-garde, all the fringe stuff that people didn't like, the punk rock of classical music.'
  3. 'With modernism and the avant-garde, postmodernists reject realism, mimesis, and linear forms of narrative.'
  4. 'For all its pretensions towards reinvention, Glasgow remained deeply suspicious of the avant-garde.'
  5. 'Or one can question whether the cool, objectivizing aesthetic of the avant-garde ever really was.'
  6. 'They were a remarkable couple, forward-thinking patrons of the arts who throughout their lives supported the avant-garde in art and architecture.'
  7. 'A passionate advocate for the avant-garde in both literature and film, B.S. Johnson gained notoriety for his forthright views on the future of the novel and for his idiosyncratic ways of putting them into practice.'
  8. 'He is maybe a bit like the great Serge Gainsbourg, who was also mixing pop music and the avant-garde.'
  9. 'Even during the brief periods of thaw there was little space for innovation, critique, or the avant-garde.'
  10. 'The city has a reputation for being the one place where rock music and the avant-garde have merged with results that are spectacular rather than excruciating.'
  11. 'works by artists of the Russian avant-garde'
  12. 'Modotti, a famous beauty of Italian birth, was the colleague and muse of photographer Edward Weston, who took her to Mexico to mix with the avant-garde.'
  13. 'Early non-medical LSD use was limited to an intellectual avant-garde of writers, artists and musicians.'
  14. 'These were based on texts by Prevert, Schwitters and Artaud, all artists of the modernist avant-garde.'
  15. 'Just because the avant-garde were exploring new forms of musical experience doesn't mean that the experiences themselves are only meaningful in terms of the specific techniques for bringing them about.'
  16. 'And from the outset, this idea will contradict manifestos of the avant-garde - attaching itself to a more unobtrusive psychological tradition.'
  17. 'Khardzhiev's seemingly unassailable authority stemmed, of course, from his personal knowledge of many of the key figures of the avant-garde.'
  18. 'She also investigates the avant-garde's motives in embracing black culture and proffers reasons and meanings for its interest.'
  19. 'It could be 1961, or 1949, with the avant-garde wearing berets and reciting poetry.'
  20. 'The earlier film culture manifested a proximity to the avant-garde, the rebel.'
  21. 'But then, my project has always been to bring the smells of the barbeque to the world of the avant-garde.'


Favouring or introducing new and experimental ideas and methods.
  1. 'He is a London-based independent curator of experimental, avant-garde, and artists' film and video.'
  2. 'Artists here have been diligently working to improve their skills, as their counterparts in Beijing continue to put forward new concepts and avant-garde ideas.'
  3. 'After the second world war, the gap between audiences and avant-garde composers opened into an unbridgeable abyss.'
  4. 'April will see another French classic, Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, in a more avant-garde production with eccentric sets and costumes supplied by Portland Opera.'
  5. 'Unlike most avant-garde composers from the fifties, Boulez has always found the physical act of making music a pleasurable exercise for both the ears and the spirit.'
  6. 'This is coupled with an absence of widely available introductions and open doors for those who are unfamiliar with contemporary or avant-garde poetry.'
  7. 'The theater has a reputation for producing experimental, avant-garde plays, many of them controversial.'
  8. 'During the 1960s he experimented with various avant-garde ideas and techniques formerly forbidden in the USSR.'
  9. 'I will inaugurate this study with a broad introduction to avant-garde film practice.'
  10. 'Christopher's ballets demonstrate a strong musicality and romanticism, which the choreographer says sets him apart from his more avant-garde contemporaries.'



1. the advance group in any field, especially in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods.


2. of or relating to the experimental treatment of artistic, musical, or literary material.

3. belonging to the avant-garde: an avant-garde composer.

4. unorthodox or daring; radical.

More examples(as adjective)

"movements can be avant-garde."

"artists can be avant-garde."

"arts can be avant-garde."

"parties can be avant-garde."

"works can be avant-garde."

More examples++


Late Middle English (denoting the vanguard of an army): from French, literally ‘vanguard’. Current senses date from the early 20th century.