ad·van·tage | \əd-ˈvan-tij \

Definition of advantage 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : superiority of position or condition Higher ground gave the enemy the advantage.

2 : a factor or circumstance of benefit to its possessor lacked the advantages of an education

3a : benefit, gain especially : benefit resulting from some course of action a mistake which turned out to our advantage

b obsolete : interest sense 3a

4 : the first point won in tennis after deuce

to advantage

: so as to produce a favorable impression or effect wishing to be seen to advantage


advantaged; advantaging

Definition of advantage (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give an advantage to : benefit Government does not know how to strengthen all families, and no public policy avoids advantaging some families while implicitly asking others to wait in the queue.— Martin Neil Baily

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of advantage in a Sentence


Higher ground gave the enemy the advantage. He has an unfair advantage over us because of his wealth. His plan has the advantage of being less expensive than other options. He lacked the advantages of an advanced education. Speed is an advantage in most sports. The company's only advantage over the competition is its location. Applicants for this job will find that previous experience is an advantage. Being able to set your own schedule is one of the advantages of owning a business. Among the advantages of a small college is its campus life. There isn't any advantage in leaving early.


there's no question that that bicycle racer was significantly advantaged by a great set of genes
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That’s what happened in the early 2000s, when class-action lawsuits revealed the main pricing database was being manipulated to the advantage of insurance companies. Steve Cohen, WSJ, "You Can’t Put a Price on a Hip Replacement, and That’s a Problem," 13 July 2018 The guessing game had the advantage of playing to the media’s preference for stories about the media. James Poniewozik, New York Times, "Trump’s Reality TV Supreme Court Rollout, Slick and Substance-Free," 10 July 2018 For moms, the advantages of nursing include reduced risks of breast and ovarian cancer, obesity, heart disease, and possibly, endometriosis. Marie Mccullough,, "Why breastfeeding is best, despite that Trump administration uproar," 9 July 2018 The BeoSound 1 has the advantage of being nominally portable — with a built-in 16-hour battery — though reviews of its sound quality and performance don’t describe it as being the truly hi-fi product that might justify its price in functional terms. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Bang & Olufsen puts five unique BeoSound 1 speakers up for auction," 3 July 2018 The larger sample size and larger opportunity for regression to the mean work to the advantage of better players. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Is Current Form or Past Slam Performance a Better Indicator of Success in Majors?," 27 June 2018 Gutierrez needs a San Antonio cushion to make up for the West Texas advantage of his chief rival, former Congressman Pete Gallego. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Tomás Uresti’s Senate campaign an obvious act of brotherly loyalty," 26 June 2018 Once such processes are in place, then government agencies, private companies, and households can reap the advantages of new technologies and investments. Donald A. Purdy Jr., Fortune, "I’m the Security Chief at Huawei U.S. Banning Us Won’t Make Americans Safer," 26 June 2018 But both Walker and Baldwin enjoy the advantages of incumbency. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A new poll shows how a small group of ticket-splitters could help re-elect both Walker and Baldwin," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Children in wealthy private schools or affluent public schools should not get a head start and advantage in the new economy because their school has more money. Amy Chance, sacbee, "'Not all machines are evil,' and other thoughts on California's changing economy," 2 July 2018 Majority groups that have been unfairly advantaged for too long see any even minute reduction in that unfair advantage as an all-out attack. David Yang And Nimit Maru, Recode, "We need more women in tech in order to get more women in tech," 21 June 2018 Gerrymandering — drawing district lines to advantage one party — is a practice that both sides across the country have engaged in over the decades. Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin redistricting: Here's what you need to know about imminent Supreme Court ruling," 13 June 2018 This is gonna be a continent-by-continent game and some businesses are gonna be advantaged on one continent versus another. Matthew Belloni, The Hollywood Reporter, "AT&T’s John Stankey Talks WarnerMedia Plans, Netflix Spending, DC Movies and CNN Politics," 18 June 2018 But the Chinese have resisted pressure to cut their trade surplus with the U.S. in half and have done little to make structural changes in a system that advantages Chinese companies and compels American firms to surrender intellectual property. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "For Trump, the Challenges From China Multiply," 28 May 2018 Gerrymandering, the strategic redrawing of political district maps to advantage a candidate or party, is more than two centuries old. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Voter redistricting: US Supreme Court to hear third key case of term," 23 Apr. 2018 The added size in the backcourt gave the Warriors matchup advantages all over the floor. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Warriors find lost mojo, pummel Spurs in Game 1," 14 Apr. 2018 Two-thirds say the American economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful; just 12% disagree. Susan Page And Marilyn Icsman, USA TODAY, "5 things to know about the post-Millennial generation, or whatever you call them," 22 Mar. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of advantage


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1549, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for advantage


alteration (with initial a- taken as assimilated form of Latin ad- ad-) of Middle English avauntage, borrowed from Anglo-French avantage, from avant "before" (going back to Latin abante) + -age -age — more at advance entry 1


alteration (after advantage entry 1) of Middle English avauntagen, borrowed from Anglo-French avauntager, verbal derivative of avauntage, avantage advantage entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about advantage

Statistics for advantage

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for advantage

The first known use of advantage was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for advantage



English Language Learners Definition of advantage

: something (such as a good position or condition) that helps to make someone or something better or more likely to succeed than others

: a good or desirable quality or feature

: benefit or gain


ad·van·tage | \əd-ˈvan-tij \

Kids Definition of advantage

1 : something that benefits the one it belongs to Speed is an advantage in sports.

2 : the fact of being in a better position or condition His great height is an advantage in basketball.

3 : personal benefit or gain It's to your own advantage to study.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on advantage

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


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!