advocate

noun
ad·vo·cate | \ˈad-və-kət, -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 \
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 \ noun
advocative \ˈad-və-ˌkā-tiv \ adjective
Its mission is now more advocative—to represent business interests on local, state and national issues that affect the Southland. — Nancy Yoshihara
advocator \-ˌkā-tər \ 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

For transparency advocates such as Sunlight, changing the contents of a government website without notice is cause enough to raise the issue. Colby Itkowitz, Washington Post, "The Health 202: 'ACA' removed from swaths of Medicaid.gov website, watchdog reports," 12 July 2018 At the same time, advocates and police officials have raised concern that civilians who report crimes and suspicious behavior to police harbor bias. Ted Andersen, SFChronicle.com, "Two-thirds of people banned from BART are black — and agency isn’t asking why," 6 July 2018 Placing such a bet on two conservative justices seems like quite a risk to take for choice advocates, as well as for an reproductive-rights believer such as Collins. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Susan Collins says she won’t support a Supreme Court nominee who’s hostile to Roe v. Wade," 1 July 2018 Scalia’s Death The ruling was years in the making for right-to-work advocates and the court’s conservative wing. Fortune, "U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against Unions on Mandatory Fees," 27 June 2018 Perdue’s visit to Chicago also comes at a time of great angst for anti-hunger advocates in the city. Greg Trotter, chicagotribune.com, "In Chicago, Trump’s ag secretary says pain from China trade fight ‘a temporary situation’," 26 June 2018 Another lawmaker, Yulia Shamalov Berkovich, called for human rights advocates aiding asylum-seekers to be rounded up into detention camps. Brian Goldstone, The New Republic, "Essential reporting, interpretation, and opinion on politics and culture. Don't miss our latest.," 26 June 2018 Such an impact would be challenging for immigrant advocates to address quickly. Tal Kopan, CNN, "The massive asylum changes Jeff Sessions tucked into the footnotes," 13 June 2018 Sylvia Longmire of Sanford is an advocate for accessibility and runs a travel agency mostly catering to those with limited mobility. Sylvia Longmire, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Final straw for wheelchair users: BYOS or you’re out of luck," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After the 2013 surveys, support for a policy lagged, said Savannah Cox, a rising senior who is the president of Breathe Easy at KU, a group that has advocated for a tobacco-free campus. Katy Bergen, kansascity, "Say goodbye to smoking, vaping or using tobacco anywhere at KU," 3 July 2018 That's the most likely option, according to Andrew Arthur, resident fellow of law and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that advocates for lower levels of immigration and supports Trump's travel ban. Alan Gomez, USA TODAY, "Trump administration racing the clock to reunite 2,000 families," 27 June 2018 The Jarvis group, which advocates for limited taxes, is suing the program and state Treasurer John Chiang, who is also chairman of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Investment Board. Kathleen Pender, San Francisco Chronicle, "Taxpayer group sues to block state-run CalSavers retirement plan," 31 May 2018 This time, Abbot will meet with school officials, mental health experts and interest groups that advocate for and against gun control measures. Holly Yan And Tina Burnside, CNN, "Santa Fe High School teachers return for the first time since the massacre," 23 May 2018 MADISON - Conservative and government transparency advocates asked Wisconsin appeals court judges to reject a state lawmaker's argument that he is not required to provide records in an electronic format. Molly Beck, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Groups ask judges to tell Wisconsin lawmaker to provide electronic copies of public records," 13 July 2018 There’s a growing medical movement — not mainstream yet – that advocates treating diabetes with a ketogenic diet. Sandy Bauers, Philly.com, "Good fats, bad fats, and why the ketogenic diet matters," 13 July 2018 The organization has also been instrumental in policy formation, identifying best practices and advocating legislative changes. Melissa Reinert, Cincinnati.com, "NKY Office of Drug Control Policy welcomes Amanda Peters as new director," 13 July 2018 So now advocates are pressing the Legislature to quickly pass a bill that would allow a whole new breed of ballot questions across the state. Adam Vaccaro, BostonGlobe.com, "A Blue Line to Lynn? Advocates are pushing a new way to fund transportation projects," 12 July 2018

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 above

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

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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Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for advocate

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

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More Definitions for advocate

advocate

noun

English Language Learners 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

advocate

noun
ad·vo·cate | \ˈad-və-kət, -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 \
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 \

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 \
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

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