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 \ -​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

Science Care supports the as-yet-unenforced Arizona law, which is stricter than the American Association of Tissue Bank accreditation standards, and provides a local avenue for complaints and inspections, advocates say. Stephanie Innes, AZCentral.com, "Despite 2-year-old state law, Arizona's body donation industry still unregulated," 10 June 2019 Wildlife officials have tried shooting, poisoning and trapping ravens — methods that come with a potential backlash from animal advocates and the risk of allowing surviving ravens to teach others how to avoid human culling strategies. Louis Sahagun, latimes.com, "These tortoise-killing ravens are so smart, scientists must use drones to stop them," 9 June 2019 That plan, like Oregon’s plan but on a larger scale, has been met with condemnation from advocates and scientists, but was welcomed by hunters and ranching industry groups. oregonlive.com, "Oregon wildlife commissioners adopt hotly contested wolf management plan," 7 June 2019 As pool safety advocates say, a person can slip under water quietly and drown in seconds. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, "‘It can happen to anyone’: Drownings of Granger Smith and Bode Miller’s young children reveal dangers to kids," 7 June 2019 The advantage, advocates say, is that the oversight comes from someone more like a social worker than a police officer. Peter Whoriskey, Anchorage Daily News, "Much of the chocolate you buy starts with child labor," 6 June 2019 The only currently operational unaccompanied minor facility not overseen by state authorities, in Homestead, Florida, has faced withering criticism from advocates and lawyers. Graham Kates, CBS News, "Amid budget crisis, Army base considered for unaccompanied migrant children," 5 June 2019 The bill has already received praise from privacy advocates, including Mary Stone Ross, who helped write the California ballot initiative that formed the basis for the California Consumer Privacy Act. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "New York's Privacy Bill Is Even Bolder Than California's," 4 June 2019 Councilwoman Liz Walsh proposed the measure which saw support from community advocates including the Howard County Citizens Association and the PTA Council of Howard County. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "Howard lawmakers review measure aiming to curb overcrowding in schools," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Winton Pitcoff, director of Massachusetts Food System Collaborative which advocates for HIP funding, said that the program has provided $9 million in healthy, local food to more than 55,000 SNAP families, and has been phenomenally successful. Alison Arnett, BostonGlobe.com, "Cold, wet spring made for some stressed-out farmers — and delayed strawberries," 10 June 2019 Amy Baer, Women in Film’s L.A. board president, said the nonprofit organization, which advocates for women in the screen industries to achieve parity, is in full support of Max Mara’s choice. Lindzi Scharf, latimes.com, "Elizabeth Debicki opens up about her life. Now what about that top-secret project?," 7 June 2019 This festive capsule collection is for men, women and non-binary individuals, with 10% of each sale benefitting the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign, which advocates for equal rights and equal treatment of the worldwide LGBTQ+ community. James Love, Essence, "Happy Pride Month! Celebrate Love And Inclusivity With These Fire Collaborations," 7 June 2019 The organization advocates on behalf of all its clients by supporting them in schools, social services, the criminal justice system, and helping them secure and maintain housing and employment. Jessica Levy, Cincinnati.com, "Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS) gives clients the gift of hope," 7 June 2019 But in the end, the meeting turned into a conversation between Barr and just one civil rights leader: Frederick Misilo, president of the Arc, which advocates for people with intellectual disabilities. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Barr promised to convene civil rights leaders to discuss police reform efforts. It didn’t go quite as planned.," 6 June 2019 Holders of the pound had already been growing concerned that political chaos in Westminster meant the U.K. might be heading for a confrontation with Europe, which Mr. Trump advocated over the weekend. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Trump’s Brexit Strategy Is Anathema to Sterling," 4 June 2019 Instead, Day turned her focus to the Doris Day Animal Foundation, which advocates for animal rights. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "10 Iconic Doris Day Photos That Will Take Your Breath Away," 13 May 2019 The actress has also been advocating for causes near to her heart. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Why 'NCIS' Star Cote de Pablo Really Left Ziva Behind," 12 Feb. 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 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

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Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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
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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