ad·​vance | \əd-ˈvan(t)s \
advanced; advancing

Definition of advance 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to accelerate the growth or progress of advance a cause

2 : to bring or move forward advance a pawn

3 : to raise to a higher rank was advanced from clerk to assistant manager

4 archaic : to lift up : raise

5 : to bring forward in time especially : to make earlier advance the date of the meeting

6 : to bring forward for notice, consideration, or acceptance : propose advance an idea

7 : to supply or furnish in expectation of repayment advance a loan

8 : to raise in rate : increase advance the rent

intransitive verb

1 : to move forward : proceed an advancing army

2 : to make progress : increase advance in age

3 : to rise in rank, position, or importance advance through the ranks

4 : to rise in rate or price advancing wages



Definition of advance (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a moving forward halted the enemy's advances

2a : progress in development … mistaking material advance for spiritual enrichment.— H. J. Laski

b : a progressive step : improvement an advance in medical technique

3 : a rise in price, value, or amount The workers won wage advances.

4 : a first step or approach made Her attitude discouraged all advances.

5 : a provision of something (such as money or goods) before a return is received I need an advance on my salary. also : the money or goods supplied received a $100,000 advance on his new book

in advance

1 : to, toward, or in a place or position ahead sent scouts out in advance

2 : before a deadline or an anticipated event made reservations in advance

in advance of

: ahead of made preparations several days in advance of her arrival



Definition of advance (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : made, sent, or furnished ahead of time advance sales

2 : going or situated before an advance party of soldiers

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Other Words from advance


advancer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for advance

Synonyms: Verb

lend, loan

Synonyms: Noun

advancement, furtherance, going, headway, march, onrush, passage, process, procession, progress, progression

Antonyms: Verb


Antonyms: Noun

recess, recession, regress, regression, retreat, retrogression

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Choose the Right Synonym for advance


advance, promote, forward, further mean to help (someone or something) to move ahead. advance stresses effective assisting in hastening a process or bringing about a desired end. advance the cause of peace promote suggests an encouraging or fostering and may denote an increase in status or rank. a campaign to promote better health forward implies an impetus forcing something ahead. a wage increase would forward productivity further suggests a removing of obstacles in the way of a desired advance. used the marriage to further his career

Examples of advance in a Sentence


The car advanced slowly down the street. The sun slowly advanced across the sky. She opened the door and advanced cautiously into the room. advance the hands of a clock The film is advanced by an electric motor. The team advanced the ball steadily down the field. Our understanding of this disease has advanced rapidly in recent years. The team did not advance beyond the first round of the play-offs. The company tries to keep up with advancing technology. As he advanced in age and stature he advanced in knowledge.


trying to halt the enemy's advance trying to halt the enemy's advances a big advance in technology The new system represents a considerable advance over the old one. There have been few advances made in the treatment of this disease. There has been little advance made in the treatment of this disease. The workers won wage advances. a yearlong advance in stock prices


an advance copy of a new book
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Hyde-Smith and Espy emerged from a field of four candidates Nov. 6 to advance to Tuesday’s runoff. Emily Wagster Pettus, The Seattle Times, "Divisive race ends with Republican Hyde-Smith victory," 28 Nov. 2018 The Russian ruble rose 1.8% to 65.86 per dollar, the South African rand climbed 1.5% to 14.17 per dollar and the Chilean peso advanced 1.3% to 673.70 per dollar. Daniel Kruger, WSJ, "U.S. Dollar Dips Amid Oil Rebound, Brexit Concerns," 15 Nov. 2018 Whichever bill obtains the most votes (not necessarily 218) would advance to the next round, followed by a vote to pass or reject the bill. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Paul Ryan scrambles to calm GOP insurrection over immigration," 2 Oct. 2018 Something specific—to advance to a certain round, et cetera—or something more general? Corey Seymour, Vogue, "How to Prepare for the U.S. Open? Let’s Ask a Pro," 27 Aug. 2018 Two summers ago, the French hosted the 2016 UEFA European Championship, advancing to the final against Portugal. Hayden Bird,, "What to know about the World Cup title match," 14 July 2018 The emotional ties are still there, with Jones part of the Heat's Big Three teams that advanced to the NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, sharing in 2012 and '13 championships alongside LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Ira Winderman,, "Winderman: Faith in Heat future extends beyond organization itself | Commentary," 14 July 2018 In a surprise upset, the Sixers prevailed, 88-86, to advance to a second-round game against the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers beat Suns in summer league in first Zhaire Smith-Mikal Bridges matchup," 13 July 2018 On the pitch, France failed to advance to the knockout stage at the 2002 World Cup; four years later, Les Blues reached the final against Italy, but Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt of Italy’s Marco Materazzi in that game overshadowed the accomplishment. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As authoritarianism creeps up on Poland and Hungary, the EU and NATO can once again help limit its advance. The Economist, "The Western alliance is in trouble," 5 July 2018 But their advance on the capital stalled into a stalemate. Nabih Bulos,, "As a government offensive bears down on them, Syrian rebels expect no help from onetime ally U.S.," 5 July 2018 For poor Paul Ryan, this isn't the first time a celebrity has spurned his advances. Luke Darby, GQ, "Seth Rogen Brutally Rejected Paul Ryan's Selfie Request in Front of Ryan's Own Kids," 23 June 2018 But what happened to the straw industry is far more interesting than its (limited) technical advances. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Disposable America," 21 June 2018 They were written by Amazon reviewers so prolific that they have been designated, basically, influencers and are often shipped new products early to review in advance. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Jell-O is finally capitalizing on the Instagram slime trend," 15 Nov. 2018 Museum shows, set into motion many months in advance, sometimes uncannily arrive at just the right moment—when underlying themes and aesthetic currents take on a new resonance. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Rodarte's Laura and Kate Mulleavy Talk Gender in Fashion, Floral Infatuations, and Their Dream Beauty Project," 14 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, Trump’s deployment of up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in advance of the migrant caravan is shaping up to cost $220 million, according to Defense Department officials. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: ‘You get an Amazon HQ2 and you get an Amazon HQ2!’," 6 Nov. 2018 In 2017, Arkansas faced lawsuits over its plan to kill eight men in 11 days in which attorneys argued that the state’s secrecy laws violated inmates’ rights to know about the procedure in advance. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Then, when questions were raised about Stone’s claims to have advance knowledge of Assange’s plans, Stone put out a story that all his contact with WikiLeaks in 2016 was actually through an intermediary: Credico. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Robert Mueller’s investigators just keep questioning Roger Stone’s associates," 11 Aug. 2018 The measure would close a loophole that drug traffickers exploit: While private shippers like FedEx and UPS are required to obtain advance electronic information on most shipments, the Postal Service is not. Matthew Garcia, Washington Post, "What A U.S.-China Trade War Could Mean For The Opioid Epidemic," 9 July 2018 The measure would close a loophole that drug traffickers exploit: While private shippers like FedEx and UPS are required to obtain advance electronic information on most shipments, the Postal Service is not. Matthew Garcia, USA TODAY, "What a U.S.-China trade war could mean for opioid epidemic," 6 July 2018 Beyond offering customers more advance e-commerce options, Walmart has in recent years given store workers raises in an effort to improve what had been weaker customer service scores and remodeled many stores. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Walmart Adds Chief Customer Officer Role to Further Integrate Stores and E-Commerce," 3 July 2018 While any increase means higher premiums for consumers who do not qualify for government subsidies, known as advance premium tax credits, the vast majority of Obamacare consumers who do qualify will see a much smaller increase. Ron Hurtibise,, "South Florida's 3 Obamacare providers file proposals to return in 2019," 22 June 2018 But any such flight would require advance warning, enough to launch spacecraft on missions laster longer than a year to reach the target far enough out to deflect it from Earth. William Harwood, CBS News, "NASA asteroid-watchers team up on emergency plan with White House, FEMA," 20 June 2018 The California law, which began to take effect this year, requires drugmakers to give insurers, governments and drug purchasers advance notice of large price increases as a way of publicly pressuring pharmaceutical companies to keep prices down. Robert Langreth,, "Drugmakers cancel some price increases after California law takes effect," 10 July 2018 Medicaid rules require advance notice of changes in benefits and a period for public comment, Regan said. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Kids wrongly denied care under Bevin's Medicaid cuts, dentists say," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'advance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of advance


1538, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1570, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1701, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for advance


Middle English advauncen, alteration (with initial a- taken as assimilated form of Latin ad- ad-) of avauncen, borrowed from Anglo-French avancer, going back to Vulgar Latin *abantiāre, verbal derivative of Latin abante "before, in front," from ab- ab- + ante "before" — more at ante-


derivative of advance entry 1 (or borrowed from French avance, going back to Middle French, noun derivative of avancer)


derivative of advance entry 2

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Statistics for advance

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for advance

The first known use of advance was in 1538

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More Definitions for advance



English Language Learners Definition of advance

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to move forward

: to move (someone or something) forward

: to go forward : to make progress : to continue in a process of development, aging, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of advance (Entry 2 of 3)

: forward movement

: progress in the development or improvement of something

: a rise in price, value, or amount



English Language Learners Definition of advance (Entry 3 of 3)

: made, sent, or provided at an early time

: going or placed before others


ad·​vance | \əd-ˈvans \
advanced; advancing

Kids Definition of advance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move forward Advance your piece five spaces on your next turn.

2 : to help the progress of Laws were passed that advance freedom.

3 : to raise to a higher rank : promote She was advanced from teller to assistant bank manager.

4 : to give ahead of time My boss advanced me 100 dollars from my wages.

5 : propose sense 1 The candidate advanced a new plan.



Kids Definition of advance (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a forward movement Troops tried to halt the enemy's advance.

2 : progress in development : improvement advances in medicine

3 : a rise in price, value, or amount

4 : a first step or approach friendly advances

5 : money given ahead of the usual time I asked for an advance on my salary.

in advance

: before an expected event You knew a week in advance about the test.


transitive verb
advanced; advancing

Legal Definition of advance 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: to supply or provide ahead of time: as

a : to give (a gift) by way of or as an advancement

b : to supply (as money) beforehand in expectation of repayment or other future adjustment



Legal Definition of advance (Entry 2 of 2)

: a provision of something (as goods or money) before a return is received also : the money or goods supplied

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More from Merriam-Webster on advance

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with advance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for advance

Spanish Central: Translation of advance

Nglish: Translation of advance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of advance for Arabic Speakers

Comments on advance

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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