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 \ ˈad-​və-​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 On Saturday, community organizers, advocates and religious members, most of them men, spoke on a Zoom call about the need to reduce domestic violence and for men to play a bigger role in that reduction. Ricardo Torres, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Community organizers discuss dramatic rise in domestic violence deaths," 9 May 2020 In Arizona, McSally’s Democratic challenger — Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and husband of gun-control advocate and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — has outraised McSally in five consecutive quarters. Los Angeles Times, "As coronavirus reshapes campaigns, Republicans fear loss of Senate control," 8 May 2020 In Santa Clara County and other parts of the Bay Area where Latino people have particularly high rates of infection, advocates and health care leaders are trying to tamp down the spread of the virus among high-risk populations. Joaquin Palomino, San Francisco Chronicle, "Latinos’ coronavirus burden," 8 May 2020 Privacy advocates warn the technology being developed is potentially invasive and raises important questions of how to safeguard people’s sensitive health information. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Apple, Google will warn you if you've been exposed to COVID-19. Here's how.," 4 May 2020 Watchdogs, patient advocates and lawyers argue that immunity orders are misguided. Bernard Condon, Time, "Faced With 20,000 Deaths, America's Nursing Homes Seek Protection From Lawsuits," 3 May 2020 Since the start of the pandemic, criminal justice advocates and the defense community have called on the County Attorney's Office and law enforcement to help prevent the spread of the illness. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Thousands of criminal charges delayed during the pandemic, Maricopa County data shows," 28 Apr. 2020 Line speed waivers have been a long-running point of contention between safety advocates and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky slaughterhouses battle the coronavirus's spread amid fears of meat shortage," 28 Apr. 2020 Lawyers press their case for early releases As more cases of COVID-19 are confirmed behind bars, advocates and families of prisoners aren't quitting. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "Coronavirus spread in Indiana prisons threatens hundreds of elderly inmates," 26 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Many nursing homes have family councils that advocate for residents, potentially valuable conduits for support and information. Kaiser Health News, oregonlive, "Have a loved one in a nursing home? Here are steps you can take to protect them during the coronavirus pandemic," 11 May 2020 Zubin Damania, a physician who hosts a YouTube channel as ZDoggMD, opted to forego the kinder, gentler approach Haelle advocates. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Fired scientist back to peddling anti-vaxx COVID-19 conspiracy theories," 8 May 2020 An immunity document is something the International Air Transport Association has advocated for as well. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airports Will Change After COVID-19," 7 May 2020 Still, the city continued to resist a call for addressing the overall sewer overflow problem until a complaint was filed, said Kevin Hardie, director of Friends of the White River, a nonprofit that advocates for a clean and healthy river. Sarah Bowman, IndyStar, "The White River: Cleanup follows decades of civil rights abuses. Now who will benefit?," 2 May 2020 Not all SROs are backed by nonprofit organizations that can advocate for them. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "Residents of SF’s crowded residential hotels fear coronavirus outbreaks," 2 May 2020 Phil Keisling administered the transition to vote at home as Oregon’s secretary of state in the 1990s, and now chairs the National Vote at Home Institute, a nonpartisan organization that advocates expanding the reform. Gilad Edelman, Wired, "The Weird Partisan Math of Vote-By-Mail," 30 Apr. 2020 Angela Hall is the founder of Supporting Our Loved Ones Group, which advocates for families of incarcerated people. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "‘The day we dreaded has arrived’: After Alaska inmate tests positive, families worry," 29 Apr. 2020 Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appointed Walle, a Democrat who hails from Aldine and a first-generation graduate that has advocated for policies that help underserved and working-class families. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Things to know about Armando Walle and Marvin Odum, Houston's coronavirus recovery czars," 21 Apr. 2020

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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 26 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for advocate

advocate

noun
How to pronounce advocate (audio)

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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