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

The opportunity was seized by the British Astronomer Royal, Frank Dyson, and a leading Cambridge astronomer, Arthur Eddington, who had become a convinced advocate of general relativity. Andrew Robinson, WSJ, "The Experiment That Made Einstein Famous," 14 Feb. 2019 After Davis died, McBath became an advocate for commonsense gun reform, and eventually joined Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail. Jenny Hollander, Marie Claire, "Hillary Clinton Endorses Deb Haaland and Stacey Abrams Alongside a Handful of Female Trailblazers," 22 Sep. 2018 Mark and Kym Hilinski have become advocates for greater awareness of mental-health issues among student-athletes and are channeling their energy into Hilinski’s Hope, a foundation created to bring resources to bear on the issues. Nicholas K. Geranios, The Seattle Times, "Tyler Hilinski’s father notes ‘how great the Cougar family’ has been," 27 Aug. 2018 Denise Bidot is a mother, model, and body-positivity advocate. Kathleen Hou, The Cut, "How Model Denise Bidot Gets Glowy, Non-Puffy Skin," 11 July 2018 Janne suffered from tooth pain while in Michigan and did not eat for several days, Nora Sandigo, an immigrant advocate based in Miami, who advocated for the girl's reunification, told the Free Press on Monday. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, "Painful memories of Michigan for immigrant girl, 7, reunited with mom," 2 July 2018 Reproductive health advocates are, understandably, frustrated. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here's What a 'Domestic Gag Rule' on Abortion Would Actually Mean for All of Us," 22 Feb. 2019 The longtime mental health advocate made a stunning appearance in a tweed skirt suit, black tights, and heels. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince William Cooks at a Homeless Shelter He Visited with Princess Diana," 13 Feb. 2019 These policies help ClimatePlan as a network better advocate at the state level. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Getting around the Bay Area with Chanell Fletcher," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Dodik, who has advocated the secession of the Bosnian Serb autonomous region and joining Serbia, is running for a Serb seat in Bosnia's three-member presidency. Fox News, "US embassy denies meddling in Bosnian election," 27 Sep. 2018 The top two finishers were: McMillion, a 35-year veteran county teacher and Feuer, a parent who advocates for more resources in the east side. Liz Bowie, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore County voters cast ballots in first school board election," 27 June 2018 But as some Saudi women relish their newfound freedom, others who advocated for it for years are behind bars. Claire Zillman, Fortune, "Sarah Sanders Red Hen, Saudi Women to Drive, U.S. Open Pregnancy: Broadsheet June 25," 25 June 2018 Then, like now, the goal was to bring together poor blacks and whites who would advocate for themselves, alongside allies who see their well-being as a moral imperative. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin upbringing inspired Rev. Liz Theoharis' walk with the poor," 22 June 2018 The couple is hoping to advocate for two causes close to their hearts. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Planning a Royal Visit to Morocco," 8 Feb. 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg has used her Supreme Court position to advocate for women's rights and equality for decades now. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Banana Republic Reissues Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Dissent Collar to Benefit the ACLU," 8 Jan. 2019 Jolie, of course, is not the only one fiercely advocating to educate young refugee women. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Made the Case for Refugee Education in a Powerful Op-Ed," 29 Aug. 2018 Everytown, one of the largest national organizations that advocates for gun control and against gun violence, has created a tool that tells you exactly which candidates in your state support gun reform laws. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Gun Control Measures in the Midterms: How You Can Make a Difference With Your Vote," 30 Oct. 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.

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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

21 Mar 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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