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 delay is troubling to advocates for the Navy veterans. Bill Lambrecht, ExpressNews.com, "VA delays benefits for ailing ‘Blue Water’ veterans of Vietnam War," 8 July 2019 Bode and Morgan have since become advocates for water safety, and have even enrolled son Easton in lessons this summer to help him learn to float with the assistance of a swim instructor. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Bode and Morgan Miller Celebrate Fourth of July with Their 'Tribe' in Sweet Family Photos," 5 July 2019 Seeing the positive effects of tiny homes on people made him a strong advocate for the lifestyle. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Tiny homes as affordable and alternative housing gain in popularity. Colorado is at forefront of the movement.," 5 July 2019 But advocates for the poor have criticized the policy, saying low-income people move more frequently, and many members will be wrongfully cut from the programs. USA TODAY, "Robot hostesses, veggie booze, ‘civil death’: News from around our 50 states," 4 July 2019 Over the course of a few years, and quite a few documentary television series, Petras quickly became known as one of the world’s youngest advocates for the trans community. Stephen Daw, Billboard, "Kim Petras on Why Her 'Clarity' Era Is Still Just Her 'Building Phase' Towards Superstardom," 28 June 2019 Biden has become a fierce advocate for mental health in the years since, making it a priority as vice president. Marie Claire, "Joe Biden's First Wife, Neilia, and Daughter Naomi Passed Away In a 1972 Accident," 26 June 2019 Stricter laws will be considered Ott, a leading advocate for stricter drunken driving laws, said Wednesday that more bills about drunken driving will be considered by the Assembly. Keith Schubert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Probation, not prison, for a fourth drunken driving conviction? In Wisconsin, it's a common sentence.," 19 June 2019 Which is why we the people of Bon Appétit, in order to form a perfect pie union, advocate for the deep dish pie dish. Alex Beggs, Bon Appétit, "Summer Pies Should All Be Deep Dish," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Infantino went on to propose what many players have long advocated for: increased investment in the women’s game. Alicia Delgallo, Pro Soccer USA, "FIFA proposes Women’s World Cup expansion to 32 teams, increased investment," 6 July 2019 Rajeev Kale, president and country head for holidays at Thomas Cook (India) advocated strengthening of overall infra ecosystem. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Dear finance minister, your budget could seal Indian aviation’s fate," 3 July 2019 Critics worried the tactics amounted to widespread logging and advocated a more surgical approach to forest thinning. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 That's why a new approach to weight loss advocates the exact opposite of severely limiting calories, doling out carbs, or fasting intermittently. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Is the Satiating Diet and Will It Help You Lose Weight? Here's What an R.D. Thinks," 20 June 2019 Americans need to spend less time blaming parents for not using their time well, and more time advocating for better working conditions and more support for families. Joslyn Brenton, The Conversation, "Time to cook is a luxury many families don’t have," 19 June 2019 Because her family has advocated for research funding since, when the annual lobbying trip by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network came up this spring, Witek, 62, decided to do it now. Meredith Colias-pete, Post-Tribune, "Chesterton woman seeks personal stories to dramatize need for pancreatic cancer research," 14 June 2019 The 2019 DOVE Award for long-standing commitment to advocating for those affected by relationship violence went to Newport Beach resident and Human Options board vice president Celina Doka, audit partner in KPMG’s Orange County office. Coast Magazine, Orange County Register, "Human Options’ Serious Fun Gala raises $520,000 to help end domestic violence," 14 June 2019 The Trump administration has been advocating for private funding of the ISS. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The International Space Station Is Open For Business—And Tourists," 12 June 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

11 Jul 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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