advocate

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

Definition of advocate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who defends or maintains a cause or proposal an advocate of liberal arts education
2 : 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
3 : one who pleads the cause of another specifically : one who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court

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

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

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 as far as 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mark White an advocate for Ridgeway, initially set up a GoFundMe to raise $1,000 for James Stinson but has since increased that goal to $25,000. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 13 May 2022 Moricz — an advocate for LGBTQ rights throughout his years in high school — had recently led a walkout protesting the bill. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 12 May 2022 As a nurse, Raechyl was an undaunted advocate for her patients, Jensen said. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, 10 May 2022 Haywood retired and became an advocate against drug use. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 The government has a responsibility to provide the swelling numbers of displaced with those social services, said Alexandra Lamarche, senior advocate for West and Central Africa for Refugees International. Sam Mednick, ajc, 8 May 2022 Ani Chaglasian, an advocate with Teens for Vaccines, testified in support of the proposal, according to the Associated Press. PEOPLE.com, 6 May 2022 Olsen is a member of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and LGBTQ+ communities, and is an outspoken mental health advocate. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 May 2022 Citizen’s Committee for Human Rights and an advocate for gay men during the early years of HIV/AIDS. Jacques Kelly, Baltimore Sun, 1 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb No sensible business school professor would advocate that the CEO of a Fortune 500 company should lever his personal fortune to buy a completely unrelated, money-losing business. Anne Sraders, Fortune, 30 Apr. 2022 Both plans advocate for community input in future developments. Brandon Drenon, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Apr. 2022 Macron, meanwhile, will advocate his pro-European views as the way to make France stronger in the world. Sylvie Corbet, ajc, 20 Apr. 2022 And to advocate for legal weed, transgender rights, gay rights, ending the filibuster and immigration reform, among other Democratic touchstones. Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2022 But if the open passage was causing more harm to certain species than good, then Gido would advocate for sending the river back over the waterfall. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Apr. 2022 Students who want to advocate for voting locations on campus can use MTV's open-source toolkit at Challenge. Mabinty Quarshie, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2022 His team of conservative policy specialists will likely advocate a militarily stronger South Korea with heavy investments in national defense. Joohee Cho, ABC News, 9 Mar. 2022 Many Republicans advocate reopening environmentally sensitive U.S. parks and ocean beds to drilling. Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of advocate

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Learn More About advocate

Time Traveler for advocate

Time Traveler

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

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Listen to Our Podcast About advocate

Dictionary Entries Near advocate

advocacy research

advocate

advocateship

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Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for advocate

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

More from Merriam-Webster on advocate

Nglish: Translation of advocate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of advocate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about advocate

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