Pronunciation Noun


  1. The foremost side of something or the end that faces the direction it normally moves.
  2. The side of a building with the main entrance.
  3. A field of activity.
  4. A person or institution acting as the public face of some other, covert group.
    Officially it's a dry-cleaning shop, but everyone knows it's a front for the mafia.
  5. (meteorology) The interface or transition zone between two airmasses of different density, often resulting in precipitation. Since the temperature distribution is the most important regulator of atmospheric density, a front almost invariably separates airmasses of different temperature.
  6. (military) An area where armies are engaged in conflict, especially the line of contact.
  7. (military) The lateral space occupied by an element measured from the extremity of one flank to the extremity of the other flank.
  8. (military) The direction of the enemy.
  9. (military) When a combat situation does not exist or is not assumed, the direction toward which the command is faced.
  10. (obsolete) A major military subdivision of the Soviet Army.
  11. (dated) Cheek; boldness; impudence.
  12. (informal) An act, show, façade, persona: an intentional and false impression of oneself.
    He says he likes hip-hop, but I think it's just a front.
    You don't need to put on a front. Just be yourself.
    • c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene vi]:
      with smiling fronts encountering
  13. 18, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 13, in The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume (please specify ), London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, OCLC 1069526323 ↗:
  14. (historical) That which covers the foremost part of the head: a front piece of false hair worn by women.
    • , Elizabeth Browning, in Aurora Leigh
      like any plain Miss Smith's, who wears a front
  15. The most conspicuous part.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      the very head and front of my offending
  16. (obsolete) The beginning.
    • 1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet 102
      summer's front
  17. (UK) A seafront or coastal promenade.
  18. (obsolete) The forehead or brow, the part of the face above the eyes; sometimes, also, the whole face.
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify )”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. In Three Books, Dublin; London: Reprinted for A. Dodd, OCLC 1033416756 ↗:
      c. 1593, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i]:
      Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front.
    • His front yet threatens, and his frowns command.
  19. (slang, hotels, dated) The bellhop whose turn it is to answer a client's call, which is often the word "front" used as an exclamation.
  20. (slang, in the plural) A grill qual jewellery worn on front teeth.
Synonyms Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: фронт

front (comparative further front, superlative furthest front)

  1. Located at or near the front.
    The front runner was thirty meters ahead of her nearest competitor.
    • 2001, Fritz Stern, Einstein's German World ↗
      You also were in the furthest front line in order to help and learn and to study the conditions for using the gas process [Gasver-fahren] of every kind.
  2. (comparable, phonetics) Pronounced with the highest part of the body of the tongue toward the front of the mouth, near the hard palate (most often describing a vowel).
    The English word smallcaps dress has a front vowel in most dialects.
Synonyms Antonyms Translations
  • Portuguese: frontal
  • Russian: пере́дний
Translations Verb

front (fronts, present participle fronting; past and past participle fronted)

  1. (intransitive, dated) To face (on, to); to be pointed in a given direction.
    • 1726 October 27, [Jonathan Swift], chapter I, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. In Four Parts. […] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume I, London: Printed for Benj[amin] Motte, […], OCLC 995220039 ↗, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput):
      The great gate fronting to the north was about four feet high, and almost two feet wide, through which I could easily creep.
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin, 2011, p.35:
      The door fronted on a narrow run, like a footbridge over a gully, that filled the gap between the house wall and the edge of the bank.
    • 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam, 2011, p.312:
      They emerged atop the broad curving steps that fronted on the Street of the Sisters, near the foot of Visenya's Hill.
    • 2010, Ingrid D Rowland, "The Siege of Rome", New York Review of Books, Blog, 26 March:
      The palazzo has always fronted on a bus stop—but this putative man of the people has kindly put an end to that public service.
  2. (transitive) To face, be opposite to.
    • 1749, John Cleland, Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, Penguin, 1985, p.66:
      After saluting her, he led her to a couch that fronted us, where they both sat down, and the young Genoese helped her to a glass of wine, with some Naples biscuit on a salver.
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      […] down they ran into the dining-room, which fronted the lane, in quest of this wonder; it was two ladies stopping in a low phaeton at the garden gate.
    • 1913, DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Penguin, 2006, p.49:
      She sat on a seat under the alders in the cricket ground, and fronted the evening.
  3. (transitive) To face up to, to meet head-on, to confront.
    • 1594, Christopher Marlowe, Edward II (play), London: William Jones,
      Know you not Gaueston hath store of golde,
      Which may in Ireland purchase him such friends,
      As he will front the mightiest of vs all,
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 6, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      those that have willed to attaine to some greater excellence, have not beene content, at home, and at rest to expect the rigors of fortune […]; but have rather gone to meet and front her before, and witting-earnestly cast themselves to the triall of the hardest difficulties.
    • 1623, William Shakespeare, King Henry IV, Part 2:
      What well-appointed leader fronts us here?
  4. (transitive) To adorn the front of; to put on the front.
    • 2001, Terry Goodkind, The Pillars of Creation, p.148:
      Three tiers of balconies fronted with roped columns supporting arched openings looked down on the marble hall.
  5. (phonetics, transitive, intransitive) To pronounce with the tongue in a front position.
    • 2005, Paul Skandera / Peter Burleigh, A Manual of English Phonetics and Phonology, p.48:
      The velar plosives are often fronted through the influence of a following front vowel, and retracted through the influence of a following back vowel.
  6. (linguistics, transitive) To move (a word or clause) to the start of a sentence.
  7. (intransitive, slang) To act as a front (for); to cover (for).
    • 2007, Harold Robbins, A Stone for Danny Fisher, p.183:
      Everybody knew Skopas fronted for the fight mob even though he was officially the arena manager.
  8. (transitive) To lead or be the spokesperson of (a campaign, organisation etc.).
    • 2009 September 1, Mark Sweney, The Guardian:
      Ray Winstone is fronting a campaign for the Football Association that aims to stop pushy parents shouting abuse at their children during the grassroots football season.
  9. (transitive, colloquial) To provide money or financial assistance in advance to.
    • 2004, Danielle Steele, Ransom, p.104:
      I'm prepared to say that I fronted you the money for a business deal with me, and the investment paid off brilliantly.
  10. (intransitive, slang) To assume false or disingenuous appearances.
    • 2008, Briscoe/Akinyemi, ‘Womanizer’:
      Boy don't try to front, / I-I know just-just what you are, are-are.
    • 2008 Markus Naerheim, The City, p.531
      You know damned straight what this is about, or you ain't as smart as you been frontin'.
  11. (transitive) To deceive or attempt to deceive someone with false or disingenuous appearances (on).
    • 1992, The Beastie Boys, ‘So What'cha Want’:
      You think that you can front when revelation comes? / You can't front on that
  12. (transitive) To appear before.
    to front court
Synonyms Translations Translations

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