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

Without hesitation, Fowler advanced the throttle and proceeded to fly the aircraft. Chris Clarke, Popular Mechanics, "Super-Rare XP-82 Twin Mustang Flies Again After Decade-Long Restoration," 4 Jan. 2019 Tracks advanced metrics like Training Effect and recovery time. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Huawei Watch GT review: When hardware and software don’t mesh," 16 Dec. 2018 With the party in control of the state Senate and governor’s office as well, Democrats are preparing to advance an ambitious agenda of environmental and other legislation. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Long-serving Frank Chopp to step down as Washington’s state House speaker after 2019 session," 27 Nov. 2018 In this episode, the timeline of the scene advances even further. Eileen Reslen, Good Housekeeping, "The Important Things You Missed During the 'This Is Us' Season 3 Premiere," 26 Sep. 2018 Dee was instrumental in advancing the program into the modern era and reached the school’s fourth-ever NCAA Sweet 16 in 1976. Christopher Hanna,, "UConn Loses Longtime Family Member In Virginia Rowe," 6 July 2018 Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "The full text of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's resignation letter to President Trump," 5 July 2018 This step by Coolidge was one of several that reflected his interest in advancing civil rights. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "For His Patriotic Birthday, Five Facts About Calvin Coolidge," 2 July 2018 Abbott, a vocal supporter of Trump, has also spoken in the past about NAFTA's necessity in advancing the economy of Texas. Matthew Choi, star-telegram, "Greg Abbott to Donald Trump: Steel and aluminum tariffs will harm Texas oil and gas," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As advances became more incremental, Apple and Samsung saw their once-sizable gaps narrow with lower-cost Chinese rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi and BBK Electronics Corp.’s Oppo. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "The Big Hangup: Why the Future Is Not Just Your Phone," 12 Jan. 2019 Blue Peacock was designed to be buried on German soil along likely Soviet routes of advance. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Britain Built a Nuclear Land Mine and Almost Used Chickens To Detonate It," 21 Dec. 2018 According to Quartz, the total does not include costs for her advance team ($18,000) or any transportation costs ($21,000). Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Melania Trump's One-Day Toronto Trip Cost $174,000 In Hotel Bills," 16 Nov. 2018 Thanks to advances in a type of brain imaging technique called a PET scan, scientists are able, in a research setting, to identify what researchers believe is one of Alzheimer’s biological markers: amyloid plaques. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 Each contestant chooses their own song and performs individually, and the top two vote-earners on each team automatically advance. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "How Does 'The Voice' Work? Here's Your Complete Guide to the NBC Show," 22 Oct. 2018 Meanwhile an advance team of Royal Protection Service officers—a special division of London's Metropolitan Police Service—will visit to figure out all security matters and liaise with their local counterpoints. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "Here's What It Really Takes to Plan a Royal Tour," 15 Oct. 2018 Chromebook x360 14 features and specs HP Like its earlier cousin, the Chromebook x360 14 offers technical and aesthetic advances. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "The HP Chromebook x360 14 is a premium convertible missing one thing," 8 Oct. 2018 Other women told the magazine of unwanted touching or advances by Moonves. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "CBS chief Les Moonves steps down amid sexual misconduct allegations," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Special counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating the whether people close to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans. Michael Balsamo, The Seattle Times, "House GOP campaign arm targeted by ‘unknown entity’ in 2018," 4 Dec. 2018 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

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

15 Jan 2019

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

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