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

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 Prince William took to the stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos this Wednesday, joining an impressive line-up of mental health advocates from around the globe. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince William Has an Interesting Theory About Why the British Have Trouble Expressing Emotion," 23 Jan. 2019 Missile-defense advocates think more modern solid state and fiber lasers fired from higher altitudes could do the trick. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Wars' Lite? We Explain Trump's Missile Defense Strategy," 17 Jan. 2019 Many affordable housing advocates say NIMBYism contributes to rising housing costs, so Carson’s support of YIMBY-ism is a both a zig and a zag. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "HUD won one court battle, lost another under Ben Carson in 2018," 26 Dec. 2018 Credit: Metropolitan Police Privacy advocates have come out strongly against the technology’s use in the UK. James Vincent, The Verge, "UK police are testing facial recognition on Christmas shoppers in London this week," 18 Dec. 2018 However, the companies and other advocates pushing 5G argue that this will be a greater seismic shift than previous new standards. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple will skip 5G in 2019, report says," 3 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 According to reports, the website launched the same day Kavanaugh was sworn in through the efforts of Fix The Court, a non-partisan organization that advocates for increased transparency and honesty within the Supreme Court. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Brettkavanaugh.com Is Now a Resource For Sexual Assault Survivors," 10 Oct. 2018 This year, the festivities will kick off on Thursday (July 12) with OUT To End Gun Violence, a live music benefit concert raising funds for The Brady Center, an American nonprofit organization that advocates for gun control and against gun violence. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "Justin Tranter Talks Artistry & Activism Ahead of Gun Violence Concert: 'Everything Should Be Intersectional'," 11 July 2018 As important as policy change in the Legislature may simply be a better attitude among stakeholders, according to Maria Mejia, the Los Angeles Director for Gen Next, a young professionals’ organization that advocates for policy reform. Dan Schnur, sacbee, "California housing costs: 'When will they start paying enough for people to afford to live here?'," 27 June 2018 The board of directors for VIDA, a nonprofit feminist organization that advocates for women in the literary arts, published a letter denouncing the review’s decision, which received hundreds of signatures. Alexandra Alter, New York Times, "Junot Díaz Cleared of Misconduct by M.I.T.," 19 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.

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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

7 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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