get ahead of (someone or something)

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get ahead of (someone or something)

1. To move to a position in front of someone or something. The racer is trying to get ahead of the other car before they take the next turn. I managed to get ahead of the rest of the people in the crowd so I could be the first one into the store.
2. To best or move to a position superior to someone else within a competition or contest. The golfer has gotten so far ahead of her competitors that there is really no chance of anyone catching her. They managed to get ahead of the other team just before halftime. Let's see if they can keep momentum in the second half.
3. To take actions in order to prevent, deal with, or minimize the impact of something, especially that which threatens to cause a lot of problems later. We really need to get ahead of the stability issues in the software, or else it's going to make the hardware integration a nightmare.
4. To address, confront, or deal with something publicly and preemptively before it is revealed or becomes common knowledge. You have to get ahead of this scandal before it breaks to the public, or the political fallout could tank your campaign.
See also: ahead, get, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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