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

While the American Chemistry Council questioned a recent draft EPA analysis that raised concerns about immunotoxicity, environmental and health advocates said the agency didn’t consider the mix of PFAS any one person is exposed to. Washington Post, "To the EPA, ‘Forever Chemicals’ Are a Big Problem Now," 18 Sep. 2019 Juli Wilson is seeking comfort in her faith following the death of her husband, popular megachurch pastor and mental health advocate Jarrid Wilson. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Pastor Jarrid Wilson's Widow Shares Bible Verse He Sent Before Death: 'Speaking to My Heart'," 16 Sep. 2019 But the man chosen to head the three-person committee, Dr. Boindala Sesikeran, a veteran nutritionist and former adviser to Nestle, only further enraged health advocates. Andrew Jacobs, New York Times, "A Shadowy Industry Group Shapes Food Policy Around the World," 16 Sep. 2019 Flag on the play: Hundreds of pro-gun advocates rallied outside the statehouse on Saturday, concerned at the recent push for red flag laws following the mass shooting in Dayton, the Columbus Dispatch’s Catherine Candisky reports. cleveland.com, "Trump campaign launching nationwide student grassroots program in Ohio: Capitol Letter," 16 Sep. 2019 Neighborhood activists in San Francisco and Venice have cited CEQA in recent court battles over proposed shelters, to the chagrin of homeless advocates who complain that the law is being abused. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, "Homeless shelters in L.A. could be harder to block if Gov. Newsom signs this bill," 13 Sep. 2019 The roundtable of more than 20 advocates and activists weighed in on everything from climate change to the humanitarian crisis in the Bahamas, to the need to reform our education system. Essence, "CBC: New Poll Says 83 Percent of Black Women Give Donald Trump An ‘F’ As President," 12 Sep. 2019 The debate has drawn hundreds of advocates to the state Capitol in emotional support or opposition. San Diego Union-Tribune, "California advances crackdown on bogus vaccine exemptions," 4 Sep. 2019 The separations have been widely criticized, and children’s health advocates have said the kids likely suffered trauma. Colleen Long, Time, "Government Watchdog: Migrant Children Separated From Parents at Border Experiencing Serious Mental Health Problems," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

He is known for advocating capital punishment for terrorists and proposing an oath of loyalty for Israel’s Arab citizens. Noga Tarnopolsky, Los Angeles Times, "Israel’s kingmaker — or is it king breaker? — could bring down Netanyahu," 16 Sep. 2019 At a recent lunch at the Hong Kong Club, there were three generations of democracy advocates around a table seating eight. George F. Will, The Denver Post, "Will: Hong Kong is a “hair’s breadth from destruction”," 15 Sep. 2019 At a recent lunch at the Hong Kong Club, there were three generations of democracy advocates around a table seating eight. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Hong Kong is a ‘hair’s breadth from destruction’," 15 Sep. 2019 At a recent lunch at the Hong Kong Club, there were three generations of democracy advocates around a table seating eight. George Will, National Review, "The Protest Leader Fighting for Hong Kong," 15 Sep. 2019 At a recent lunch at the Hong Kong Club, there were three generations of democracy advocates around a table seating eight. George Will, The Mercury News, "Will: Hong Kong is a ‘hair’s breadth from destruction’," 14 Sep. 2019 With the clock ticking, 3Com brought five strong IEEE advocates together to found an independent Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA), which aimed to ensure that products based on the pending standard would work together. Wired, "How Wi-Fi Almost Didn’t Happen," 12 Sep. 2019 In Reno, Ginger Fenwick started Bees4Vets with her husband, Daniel, in 2018 after spotting a 1919 pamphlet written by the government that advocated beekeeping for veterans returning from World War I with shell shock. Michael Casey And Mike Householder, USA TODAY, "How can veterans cope with PTSD? Some are turning to beekeeping," 11 Sep. 2019 In fact, the poll found that corporate reputations get a boost when companies and their leaders advocate for specific measures like comprehensive background checks. Shannon Watts For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Corporate America is taking a stand against gun violence. It's about time," 9 Sep. 2019

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

3 Oct 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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