Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

advocate

play
noun ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt\

Simple Definition of advocate

  • : a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy

  • : a person who works for a cause or group

  • : a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of advocate

  1. 1 :  one that pleads the cause of another; specifically :  one that pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court

  2. 2 :  one that defends or maintains a cause or proposal

  3. 3 :  one that supports or promotes the interests of another

Examples of advocate in a sentence

  1. He has paid respectful attention to the home schooling movement by meeting with its advocates and endorsing their cause. —Elizabeth Drew, New York Review of Books, 10 June 2004

  2. … two of nanotechnology's biggest advocates square off on a fundamental question that will dramatically affect the future development of this field. —K. Eric Drexler et al., Chemical & Engineering News, 1 Dec. 2003

  3. Ms. Hart was familiar with local medical-review policies from her work as a patient advocate. —Laurie McGinley, Wall Street Journal, 16 Sept. 2003

  4. a passionate advocate of civil rights

  5. She works as a consumer advocate.



Origin and Etymology of advocate

Middle English advocat, from Anglo-French, from Latin advocatus, from past participle of advocare to summon, from ad- + vocare to call, from voc-, vox voice — more at voice


First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with advocate

abdicate, abnegate, abrogate, acclimate, acerbate, acetate, activate, actuate, acylate, adsorbate, adulate, adumbrate, aggravate, aggregate, agitate, allocate, altercate, ambulate, amputate, animate, annotate, annulate, antedate, antiquate, apartheid, apostate, approbate, arbitrate, arcuate, arrogate, aspirate, auscultate, automate, aviate, bantamweight, Bering Strait, bifurcate, billingsgate, bipinnate, boilerplate, bombinate, brachiate, buffer state, cabinmate, cachinnate, calculate, calibrate, caliphate, candidate, cannulate, cantillate, capitate, captivate, carbonate, carbon-date, carinate, carload rate, castigate, catenate, cavitate, celebrate, cerebrate, chlorinate, circinate, circulate, city-state, client state, cogitate, colligate, collimate, collocate, commentate, commutate, compensate, complicate, concentrate, condensate, confiscate, conglobate, conjugate, consecrate, constellate, consternate, constipate, consummate, contemplate, copperplate, copulate, coronate, correlate, corrugate, coruscate, counterweight, crepitate, criminate, cruciate, cucullate, culminate, cultivate, cumulate, cuneate, cupulate, cuspidate, cyclamate, Davis Strait, deaerate, decimate, decollate, decorate, decussate, defalcate, defecate, deflagrate, dehydrate, delegate, demarcate, demonstrate, denigrate, Denmark Strait, depilate, deviate, deprecate, depredate, derivate, derogate, desecrate, desiccate, designate, desolate, desquamate, detonate, devastate, deviate, digitate, diplomate, discarnate, dislocate, dissertate, dissipate, distillate, divagate, dominate, double date, edentate, educate, elevate, elongate, eluate, emanate, emigrate, emirate, emulate, enervate, ephorate, escalate, estimate, estivate, excavate, exchange rate, exculpate, execrate, expiate, explicate, expurgate, exsiccate, extirpate, extricate, exudate, fabricate, fascinate, fashion plate, featherweight, fecundate, federate, fenestrate, festinate, fibrillate, first estate, flagellate, flocculate, fluctuate, fluoridate, foliate, formulate, fornicate, fourth estate, fractionate, fragmentate, fulminate, fumigate, fustigate, geminate, generate, germinate, glaciate, Golden Gate, graduate, granulate, gratulate, gravitate, heavyweight, hebetate, herniate, hesitate, hibernate, Hudson Strait, hundredweight, hyphenate, ideate, imamate, imbricate, imitate, immigrate, immolate, impetrate, implicate, imprecate, impregnate, incarnate, increate, incubate, inculcate, inculpate, incurvate, indagate, indicate, indurate, infiltrate, in-line skate, in-migrate, innervate, innovate, insensate, inspissate, instigate, insulate, interstate, intestate, intimate, intonate, intraplate, inundate, invocate, iodate, irrigate, irritate, isolate, iterate, jubilate, juniorate, lacerate, laminate, Latinate, laureate, legislate, levigate, levitate, liberate, license plate, liquidate, litigate, littermate, lubricate, macerate, machinate, magistrate, marginate, margravate, marinate, masticate, masturbate, maturate, mediate, medicate, meditate, meliorate, menstruate, microstate, micturate, middleweight, militate, mithridate, mitigate, moderate, modulate, motivate, multistate, mutilate, nation-state, nauseate, navigate, neonate, nictitate, niobate, nominate, numerate, obfuscate, objurgate, obligate, obovate, obviate, on a plate, operate, opiate, orchestrate, ordinate, oscillate, osculate, out-migrate, out-of-date, overstate, overweight, ovulate, paginate, palliate, palpitate, paperweight, patinate, peculate, penetrate, pennyweight, percolate, perennate, perforate, permeate, perpetrate, personate, police state, pollinate, populate, postulate, potentate, predicate, procreate, profligate, promulgate, propagate, prorogate, pullulate, pulmonate, punctuate, quantitate, rabbinate, radiate, real estate, recreate, re-create, reinstate, relegate, relocate, remonstrate, renovate, replicate, reprobate, resonate, retardate, retranslate, roller-skate, roseate, rubricate, ruinate, ruminate, runagate, running mate, rusticate, sagittate, salivate, sanitate, satiate, saturate, scintillate, second-rate, segregate, self-portrait, separate, sequestrate, seriate, sibilate, silver plate, simulate, sinuate, situate, speculate, spoliate, stablemate, starting gate, steady state, stimulate, stipulate, strangulate, stridulate, stylobate, subjugate, sublimate, subrogate, subulate, suffocate, sultanate, Sunda Strait, supplicate, surrogate, syncopate, syndicate, tablemate, tabulate, target date, terminate, tessellate, tête-à-tête, thirty-eight, titillate, titivate, tolerate, transmigrate, transudate, tribulate, tribunate, trifurcate, trilobate, tripinnate, triplicate, tunicate, turbinate, ulcerate, ululate, umbellate, uncinate, underrate, understate, underweight, undulate, ungulate, urinate, vaccinate, vacillate, validate, valuate, variate, vegetate, venerate, ventilate, vertebrate, vicarate, vindicate, violate, vitiate, water gate, Watergate, welfare state, welterweight


2

advocate

play
verb ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-ˌkāt\

Simple Definition of advocate

  • : to support or argue for (a cause, policy, etc.)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of advocate

advocated

advocating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to plead in favor of

advocation

play \ˌad-və-ˈkā-shən\ noun

advocative

play \ˈad-və-ˌkā-tiv\ adjective

advocator

play \-ˌkā-tər\ noun

Examples of advocate in a sentence

  1. … it makes sense to commence with … a good medium-weight Chardonnay for the wine aficionados. I advocate one with a little oak and lots of fruit … —Anthony Dias Blue, Bon Appétit, November 1997

  2. He advocated the creation of a public promenade along the sea, with arbors and little green tables for the consumption of beer … —Henry James, The American, 1877

  3. He advocates traditional teaching methods.

  4. The plan is advocated by the president.



Did You Know?

Benjamin Franklin may have been a great innovator in science and politics, but on the subject of advocate, he was against change. In 1789, he wrote a letter to his compatriot Noah Webster complaining about a "new word": the verb advocate. Like others of his day, Franklin knew advocate primarily as a noun meaning "one who pleads the cause of another," and he urged Webster to condemn the verb's use. In truth, the verb wasn't as new as Franklin assumed (etymologists have traced it back to 1599), though it was apparently surging in popularity in his day. Webster evidently did not heed Franklin's plea. His famous 1828 dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language, entered both the noun and the verb senses of advocate.

Origin and Etymology of advocate

(see 1advocate)


First Known Use: 1599

Synonym Discussion of advocate

support, uphold, advocate, back, champion mean to favor actively one that meets opposition. support is least explicit about the nature of the assistance given <supports waterfront development>. uphold implies extended support given to something attacked <upheld the legitimacy of the military action>. advocate stresses urging or pleading <advocated prison reform>. back suggests supporting by lending assistance to one failing or falling <refusing to back the call for sanctions>. champion suggests publicly defending one unjustly attacked or too weak to advocate his or her own cause <championed the rights of children>.

ADVOCATE Defined for Kids

1

advocate

play
noun ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt\

Definition of advocate for Students

  1. 1 :  a person who argues for or supports an idea or plan <peace advocates>

  2. 2 :  a person who argues for another especially in court




2

advocate

play
verb ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-ˌkāt\

Definition of advocate for Students

advocated

advocating

  1. :  to speak in favor of :  argue for <advocate change>




Law Dictionary

1

advocate

play
noun ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt\

Legal Definition of advocate

  1. 1 :  a person (as a lawyer) who works and argues in support of another's cause especially in court

  2. 2 :  a person or group that defends or maintains a cause or proposal <a consumer advocate>



Origin and Etymology of advocate

Latin advocatus adviser to a party in a lawsuit, counselor, from past participle of advocare to summon, employ as counsel, from ad to + vocare to call


2

advocate

play
verb ad·vo·cate \ˈad-və-ˌkāt\

Legal Definition of advocate

advocated

advocating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to argue in favor of
  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to act as an advocate <shall advocate for minority business — V. M. Rivera>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up advocate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

philistine melancholy frenetic lazy
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ