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 advocate (audio) \ noun
advocative \ ˈad-​və-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce advocate (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 advocate (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 Hammon has become an outspoken advocate for gender equality in all walks of life. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Popovich rooting for Borrego, Hornets in wake of LaMelo Ball injury," 22 Mar. 2021 One advocate told IndyStar that to close the existing meal gap and the gap created by the crisis, hunger relief organizations would effectively have to quadruple their pre-pandemic output. Holly V. Hays, The Indianapolis Star, "Indy Community Pantry stocks mini food pantries, refrigerators for Hoosiers in need," 10 Mar. 2021 There is the Turkle who has authored books about what screens do to our relationships, and who has become a fierce advocate for in-person conversations. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Sherry Turkle Talks Going Remote, Loneliness, and Her New Book," 1 Mar. 2021 The group was denied entry past the lobby of City Hall — which one education advocate quickly condemned as a double standard. Alice Yin, chicagotribune.com, "As parents push demands, CPS says it aims to reopen high schools before year’s end, while teachers union laments ‘inhumane’ negotiations: ‘We need to do better’," 24 Feb. 2021 Hilton has since become an advocate to reform the troubled-teen industry, and recently flew to Utah to testify in favor of legislation that would bring more oversight to the facilities here. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Woman says she was punished at Turn-About Ranch after reporting a sexual assault," 24 Feb. 2021 Since leaving the agency in 2001, Jenn Budd has become an advocate for migrants and is demanding accountability from her former employer. Caitlin Yilek, CBS News, "Ex-Border Patrol agent says she doesn't trust agency: "Far different than what they portray"," 24 Feb. 2021 While learning about Buffalo’s most famous contribution to American cuisine, Humphrey also has become an advocate for saving traditional Baltimore eateries struggling during the pandemic. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Marlon Humphrey finds ‘beauty in the struggle’ during NFL’s pandemic season," 21 Jan. 2021 At the same time, experts warn, longstanding challenges remain — antiracism goals that are hard to measure; finding funds to pay for these efforts; and assuming that the hiring of one dedicated advocate means the work is done. New York Times, "For Diversity Leaders in the Arts, Getting Hired Is Just the First Step," 17 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At BetterUp, Harry is expected to have input into product strategy decisions and charitable contributions, and advocate publicly on topics related to mental health, according to the Wall Street Journal. Allison Morrow, CNN, "Work-life balance on Wall Street looks like free Pelotons and Zoom-free Fridays," 23 Mar. 2021 In the BetterUp position, Prince Harry is expected to have input into initiatives including product strategy decisions and charitable contributions, and advocate publicly on topics related to mental health. Chip Cutter, WSJ, "Prince Harry Is Taking on a New Job Title: Chief Impact Officer at BetterUp," 23 Mar. 2021 The Star Tribune Editorial Board seem to advocate that the 4,000 children — and probably most of the adults at our border — should be granted asylum due to conditions of economic hardship/violence in Latin America. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Immigrants at the border, U.S. foreign involvement, Atlanta shootings," 22 Mar. 2021 Zier was entitled to a hearing before the board, which consists of three military members, because of his rank and time in the Air Force, said Christensen, the victims advocate. Sig Christenson, San Antonio Express-News, "Air Force panel: Senior master sergeant convicted of sex crime should stay in the service," 22 Mar. 2021 Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heads to Iowa next week to advocate on behalf of conservatives. Paul Steinhauser, Fox News, "As Trump teases a 2024 presidential run, potential GOP rivals start making early visits," 20 Mar. 2021 But not a single state senator voted to keep it, with past defenders of the song coming around to advocate its repeal. Bryn Stole, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland General Assembly votes to trash state’s pro-Confederate official state song," 19 Mar. 2021 Biden went on to advocate raising the corporate tax rate to 28%, up from the 21% set in President Trump‘s 2017 tax law, but still significantly lower than the 35% that had previously been the law. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: A Senate showdown builds as Biden takes a stand on filibusters and taxes," 19 Mar. 2021 Actor and advocate Daniel Dae Kim made an appeal to Republican lawmakers, the majority of whom had voted against the nonbinding resolution condemning anti-Asian hate. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "'We will not let you take our voice from us': Rep. Meng responds to Republicans at hearing on anti-Asian discrimination," 18 Mar. 2021

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

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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
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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Comments on advocate

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