advocate

noun
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-kət How to pronounce advocate (audio) , -ˌkāt \

Definition of advocate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who pleads the cause of another specifically : one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court
2 : one who defends or maintains a cause or proposal an advocate of liberal arts education
3 : one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group a consumer advocate an advocate for women's health He has paid respectful attention to the home schooling movement by meeting with its advocates and endorsing their cause.— Elizabeth Drew

advocate

verb
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-ˌkāt How to pronounce advocate (audio) \
advocated; advocating

Definition of advocate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to support or argue for (a cause, policy, etc.) : to plead in favor of They advocated a return to traditional teaching methods. a group that advocates vegetarianism

intransitive verb

: to act as advocate for someone or something … a tradition of advocating for the equality and civil rights of all people …— Fred Kuhr

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Other Words from advocate

Verb

advocation \ ˌad-​və-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce advocation (audio) \ noun
advocative \ ˈad-​və-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce advocative (audio) \ adjective
Its mission is now more advocative—to represent business interests on local, state and national issues that affect the Southland. — Nancy Yoshihara
advocator \ ˈad-​və-​ˌkā-​tər How to pronounce advocator (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for advocate

Verb

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

Benjamin Franklin Wasn't a Fan of Advocate

Verb

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.

Examples of advocate in a Sentence

Noun … 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 Ms. Hart was familiar with local medical-review policies from her work as a patient advocate. — Laurie McGinley, Wall Street Journal, 16 Sept. 2003 a passionate advocate of civil rights She works as a consumer advocate. Verb … 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 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 He advocates traditional teaching methods. The plan is advocated by the president.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Immigrant advocates and privacy experts have raised alarms and questioned whether data collected to stop criminal activity could instead be used for surveillance. Nomaan Merchant, azcentral, "U.S. to start collecting DNA from people detained at border," 7 Jan. 2020 Taylor followed up on their conversation by helping Yates forge a connection between community advocates and IMPD's chaplains. Holly V. Hays, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD's new chief understands the pain of violence. His father-in-law was murdered.," 5 Jan. 2020 But some housing advocates and community leaders contend that two renters on the commission won’t be enough to make a difference. Marina Starleaf Riker, ExpressNews.com, "‘We can do a lot more’ — City, community leaders call for efforts to prevent eviction," 22 Dec. 2019 With that case proven however, next year internet freedom advocates and anti-censorship organizations face the much more difficult task of working out how to fight back. James Griffiths, CNN, "Internet shutdowns used to be rare. They're increasingly becoming the norm in much of the world," 21 Dec. 2019 Housing advocates and some politicians on Beacon Hill have pushed in recent years for legislation that would encourage, or even require, some multifamily zoning within a half-mile of MBTA stations. BostonGlobe.com, "Housing-starved Massachusetts could add a quarter-million homes just by building more around MBTA stations.," 19 Dec. 2019 Which is why environmental advocates and others were alarmed this past July when Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced plans to rebuild BR-319 in order to spur economic development. Smithsonian, "Is the Amazon on a Road to Ruin?," 17 Dec. 2019 Jodie is a domestic violence victim advocate and Paul is a land-use attorney. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "A color-coordinated garden and floating cabinets make this Northfield ranch home a dream," 12 Dec. 2019 In Europe, music industry advocates and composers point to the passage earlier this year of the EU Copyright Directive, which is expected to provide protections to composers as it is adopted over the next two years. Kathryn Kranhold, Billboard, "TV and Film Composers Say Netflix, Other Streaming Services Insist on Buying Out Their Music Rights," 11 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today, the Kailee Mills Foundation works to advocate for seat belt safety and general driving safety through events, fundraisers and social media. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Northwest Houston nonprofits welcome year-round help," 2 Jan. 2020 Steyer called out his opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for failing to advocate for a national emergency around climate change. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Why Democratic Candidates Keep Talking About Declaring a State of Emergency," 21 Dec. 2019 As scientists continue to advocate for further development of such technologies, the field’s demographics are drawing more scrutiny. Sarah Sax, Wired, "Geoengineering’s Gender Problem Could Put the Planet at Risk," 18 Dec. 2019 The family created the nonprofit NKY Hates Heroin, which advocates for, and raises funds for, treatment and recovery help. cincinnati.com, "Covering the opioid epidemic: Despair and bravery, helplessness, iron will and way too much death," 12 Dec. 2019 In a year when Harford County’s budget surplus was more than $20 million and the overall fund balance is $136 million, leaders of three of Harford County Public Schools unions and others pleaded with school board members to advocate for the schools. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Harford union leaders push for more input, transparency from county executive on upcoming school budget," 10 Dec. 2019 After years of advocating for equal pay for the USWNT and speaking out on other human-rights issues, Rapinoe’s star rose not just as a talented athlete, but as someone who uses her platform for larger issues. Pardeep Cattry, Pro Soccer USA, "Megan Rapinoe named Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year," 10 Dec. 2019 Boris Johnson had to advocate Brexit to a strongly pro-EU audience. The Economist, "A woke business gathering seems oddly in tune with Labour," 23 Nov. 2019 Carter also encourages patients to better advocate for themselves and their needs during recovery. Christine Yu, Outside Online, "Your Fear of Reinjury Could Get You Hurt Again," 11 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'advocate.' 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 advocate

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1599, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for advocate

Noun

Middle English avocat, advocat, borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin advocātus, noun derivative from past participle of advocāre "to summon, call to one's aid," from ad- ad- + vocāre "to call" — more at vocation

Verb

derivative of advocate entry 1

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Time Traveler for advocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of advocate was in the 14th century

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Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for advocate

advocate

noun
How to pronounce advocate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of advocate

: a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy
US : a person who works for a cause or group
: a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law

advocate

noun
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-kət How to pronounce advocate (audio) , -ˌkāt \

Kids Definition of advocate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person who argues for or supports an idea or plan peace advocates
2 : a person who argues for another especially in court

advocate

verb
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-ˌkāt How to pronounce advocate (audio) \
advocated; advocating

Kids Definition of advocate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to speak in favor of : argue for advocate change

advocate

noun
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-kət, -ˌkāt How to pronounce advocate (audio) \

Legal Definition of advocate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a person (as a lawyer) who works and argues in support of another's cause especially in court
2 : a person or group that defends or maintains a cause or proposal a consumer advocate

advocate

verb
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-ˌkāt How to pronounce advocate (audio) \
advocated; advocating

Legal Definition of advocate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to argue in favor of

intransitive verb

: to act as an advocate shall advocate for minority business— V. M. Rivera

History and Etymology for advocate

Noun

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

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