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 Yet worker advocates, as well as former leaders of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration, say the federal agency is falling short of its duty to hold employers accountable. BostonGlobe.com, "The week in business," 23 May 2020 Beijing’s latest plan to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong by passing controversial national security legislation has shocked democracy advocates in the semi-autonomous city, and elicited swift rebuke from Washington. Time, "Beijing Says Imposing a National Security Law in Hong Kong Is Necessary. Democracy Activists Call It 'the Saddest Day' in City History," 22 May 2020 McCorvey found herself on both sides of the issue, first as a pro-choice advocate, who worked in women's clinics. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "Roe v Wade's Jane Roe says she was paid to speak against abortion in shocking FX documentary," 21 May 2020 In addition to Jones’ family, victim advocates — including the large number of people behind a Change.org petition — are fighting for clemency; plus, celebrities like Kim Kardashian West and Viola Davis have also spoken out about Jones’ case. Leah Carroll, refinery29.com, "Julius Jones Is On Death Row And Seeking Clemency — Can Kim Kardashian Help?," 19 May 2020 But the school system’s advocates, who long have challenged the extension of the Sears incentives, argue that with the majority of money from the special district going to Sears, the district received far less taxes over time. At A Great Price, ProPublica, "Sears’ Headquarters Was Supposed to Turn a Sleepy Suburb Into a Boomtown. It Never Happened.," 15 May 2020 The modifications are aimed at settling years of debates between safety advocates, trucking companies and drivers over regulations intended to reduce accidents caused by highway fatigue. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Highway Regulators Shift Work Rules for Truck Drivers," 14 May 2020 With their patients throughout the continuum of life, nurses are teachers, advocates, caregivers, critical-thinkers and innovators. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Salute to Nurses: The Houston Chronicle honors 2020's top nurse leaders," 4 May 2020 With these safeguards, the plan has mostly won cautious approval from privacy advocates, including experts at the American Civil Liberties Union, despite widespread concerns about tech giants’ hold over people’s personal data. Los Angeles Times, "Apple and Google won’t solve coronavirus contact tracing. Here’s what will," 1 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The gradual decline in the Trump’s approval rating started after a number of controversial statements, including but not limited to advocating for an unproved drug, suggesting the value of taking a disinfectant shot and neglecting experts opinions. Hemant Kakkar, Scientific American, "Why Trump’s Popularity Surge Faded So Quickly," 27 May 2020 The 57-year-old pastor of the Church of the Messiah is known in the area for advocating benefits for the community. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Detroit neighborhood group sees gentrification as the enemy," 24 May 2020 But those who are on it have learned to advocate for themselves along the way, and brought that forthright approach to the vice-presidential selection process. Lissandra Villa, Time, "How Joe Biden Transformed the Competition for the Vice Presidency," 21 May 2020 Some clubs fail to advocate for performers against customers who violate boundaries. Alexis Okeowo, The New Yorker, "The Fragile Existence of Sex Workers During the Pandemic," 21 May 2020 During social isolation, Ford is doubling down on Land O'Lakes' efforts to advocate for rural America. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford shares the real reason the brand ditched its ‘butter maiden’," 20 May 2020 Despite the uncertainty, many public health experts continue to advocate mask-wearing, while emphasizing that the best defense is still to wash your hands regularly and maintain distance. Daphne Chen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin is mostly open, but coronavirus risk is still high, experts say. Here's what we've learned about how to protect yourself.," 14 May 2020 While many of us expect the surgeon general to advocate such reasonable positions... WSJ, "Personal Responsibility and the Coronavirus," 11 May 2020 The nation’s largest medical societies, including the American Medical Association, responded with statements calling on employers to respect physicians’ freedom to advocate for the safety of health care workers and patients. Luke Messac, STAT, "A lesson on physician activism from Malawi’s legendary Dr. John Chiphangwi," 6 May 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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 1 Jun. 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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