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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But advocates for the rhinos hope the recent tragedy will spur action on a long standing problem. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Devastating Tsunami Threatens Endangered Rhinos," 28 Dec. 2018 So to no surprise, Thorne is an advocate of washing her hair with beer to lighten it. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Bella Thorne Washes Her Hair With Beer and Yeah, I Have Questions," 20 Mar. 2019 This is where gun control advocates need to make some movement. German Lopez, Vox, "How the Parkland shooting changed America’s gun debate," 26 Dec. 2018 In Hawaii this week, the 5G advocates showed off a streaming virtual reality demo, but VR is yet another piece of technology that’s still evolving and searching for a truly compelling application. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Apple is right: 2019 will be too early to buy a 5G phone," 5 Dec. 2018 Privacy advocates aren't enthused by the DEA's new directive. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "That Radar Speed Road Sign Might Be Saving Your License Plate for Later," 1 Oct. 2018 Mnuchin remains the most powerful advocate in Trump’s orbit for mitigating the president’s trade offensive. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mnuchin is in denial about the pain Trump's tariffs are inducing," 13 July 2018 The consumer advocate agreed to drop a court challenge as its part of the settlement. Andrew Maykuth, Philly.com, "Pa. approves Aqua's contentious $75M sewer system acquisition," 12 July 2018 Lenders and consumer advocates also say that Insikt and its finders could make larger loans without trying to change state law. James Rufus Koren, latimes.com, "Latest battle over California lending market: Should grocery stores offer large loans?," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Your responses on everything from learning how to advocate for yourself in the face of adversity to destigmatizing mental illness, showed us how young people can and will change the world. Shao Xinning, Seventeen, "This Teen Created Her Own Pen Pal Service in Order to Connect Girls Across China," 18 Mar. 2019 Such outfits, on both left and right, are expanding rapidly on campuses and recruiting students to advocate for their ideological agendas. Daniel M. Bring, WSJ, "The College ‘Grass-Roots’ Organizations That Aren’t," 8 Mar. 2019 Flex workers, meanwhile, have no collective bargaining power and little, if any, means to advocate for higher wages or more humane working conditions. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon is cutting costs with its own delivery service — but its drivers don’t receive benefits," 26 Dec. 2018 A whole season wondered if maybe people advocating for political correctness aren’t entirely wrong (just mostly wrong). Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "12 years after mocking Al Gore’s fight against climate change, South Park reconsiders," 14 Nov. 2018 The largest of all the protests will take place on Friday afternoon in London, where the streets are expected to be clogged with tens of thousands advocating for issues ranging from migrant rights to women’s rights to worker rights. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "‘I think they like me a lot in the U.K.,’ Trump says, as he faces mass protests in Britain," 12 July 2018 Johnson, who has cut a flamboyant figure in British politics for decades, served as one of the loudest — and most misleading — voices advocating for Brexit before the referendum. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "Boris Johnson Quits U.K. Government in Blow to Brexit, Theresa May," 9 July 2018 On Monday, New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission—a New York City government agency—released a report advocating for a wage increase for ride-hail drivers. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Uber and Lyft Drivers Could Be Getting a Serious Raise in New York City," 3 July 2018 Learn about climate change Learn about climate change at an event from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the San Diego Botanic Garden, sponsored by Citizens Climate Lobby, a group advocating action in Congress on climate change. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fishing buffs reeling in more than fish ...community news," 22 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about advocate

Listen to Our Podcast about advocate

Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for advocate

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on advocate

What made you want to look up advocate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!