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 Polk has also become a vocal advocate for county attorneys across the state, frustrating backers of criminal justice reform, medical marijuana and much else. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Disgraced ex-lawmaker David Stringer seeks 2nd chance from Yavapai County voters in primary," 2 Aug. 2020 Rabbi Joel Chazin was a strong advocate for social justice who developed an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program at Montefiore in Beachwood with a guest speaker each year. Ed Wittenberg, cleveland, "Rabbi Joel Chazin, former chaplain at Montefiore in Beachwood, dead at 84," 13 July 2020 Peterson, a supporter of President Trump, has been a vocal advocate against the execution of her daughter's killer and has even asked Mr. Trump to commute Lee's sentence to life without parole. Jordan Freiman, CBS News, "7th Circuit court overturns stay of execution for Daniel Lewis Lee, paving the way for first federal execution in 17 years," 12 July 2020 Goldstein was eventually selected to model in the campaign, as well as Enam Asiama, who is a plus-size advocate. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "18-Year-Old Model with Down Syndrome Featured in Gucci Beauty Editorial: 'I Feel So Lucky'," 9 July 2020 Mills, 31, has been an outspoken advocate for equal rights, especially in Australia. Jeff Mcdonald, ExpressNews.com, "Spurs’ Patty Mills pledges to play for social justice," 8 July 2020 Fortune created the award in honor of Tyson, a longtime advocate for expanding health care access who died in November at age 60. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Mayor London Breed accepts the first Bernard J. Tyson Memorial Leadership Award," 8 July 2020 The Democratic climate plan contained some wins for Casten, who has been a chief advocate for an all-of-the-above approach to zero-carbon energy sources that values nuclear power and carbon capture alongside wind and solar, a model that won out. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Centrist Democrat Sean Casten accuses GOP of choosing ‘suicide’ on climate," 1 July 2020 Jo O'Reilly is a digital privacy advocate at ProPrivacy. Sharan Dhaliwal, refinery29.com, "How Scammers Target Low-Income Young Women On Social Media," 21 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Casey had recently become active in donating to Republican causes, including a $300,000 donation from Casey’s companies to a committee created to advocate for the repeal of the state’s gas tax. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "Feds investigating massive suspected Marin County Ponzi scheme involving dead real estate investor," 7 Aug. 2020 Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic gold- medalist swimmer and civil rights attorney who founded Champion Women to advocate for athletes, emphasized the importance of administrative accountability in athletics. USA Today, "Help support quality journalism like this.," 5 Aug. 2020 Ilhan shows up to advocate for her constituents, too. Andrea Jenkins, Star Tribune, "Endorsement counterpoint: The times we're in call for courage. Ilhan Omar has it.," 5 Aug. 2020 Hillary Clinton, as first lady, used the term to advocate for her husband's 1994 crime bill. Sharon Coolidge, The Enquirer, "Cincinnati on pace for record killings, assistant police chief says 'super predators' need to be locked up," 4 Aug. 2020 Marek made several phone calls to facilities to advocate for her client. Ilana Kaplan, Vogue, "How Death Doulas Have Adapted End-of-Life Care Amid COVID-19," 30 July 2020 Ford, along with General Motors, has taken additional steps to advocate for accountability in recent weeks. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford employees ask if company should stop building police vehicles," 9 July 2020 Her political beliefs have now seeped into her other social channels, where the young activist has used her platform to advocate for Black justice, including videos of protests in Washington, DC outside of the White House. Elly Belle, refinery29.com, "Kellyanne Conway’s Daughter Is Trolling Trump On Tiktok — Yes, Really.," 30 June 2020 In 1859, Heg used his position as state prison commissioner to advocate for vocational training rather than the punishment of prisoners. Lawrence Andrea, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hans Christian Heg was an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery. What to know about the man whose statue was toppled in Madison.," 24 June 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

9 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 14 Aug. 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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