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 advocate (audio) \ noun
advocative \ ˈad-​və-​ˌkā-​tiv How to pronounce advocate (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 advocate (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 Petitions can be filed online at www.in.gov/courts/help/efiling/protection-orders and can be done with the help of an advocate. Elizabeth Depompei, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Sep. 2021 One advocate, saying Biden has rarely even uttered the word, launched a website called DidBidenSayAbortionYet.org. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2021 Autism advocate Temple Grandin spoke at the opening of Auticon's office in Salt Lake City Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Sep. 2021 Sirhan’s] release, advocate for public safety, or fight for the victim. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 27 Aug. 2021 Farrah Khan is an award-winning gender-justice advocate, consent and pleasure educator, and trauma counselor. Farrah Khan, refinery29.com, 26 Aug. 2021 There’s not a day that goes by that 18-year-old Kileigh Reddog isn’t in touch with her advocate, Annita Lucchesi. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, 23 Aug. 2021 But the star's proudest role is that of an advocate. Fox News, 5 Aug. 2021 The Senate Rules Committee appoints the representative of fast food restaurant franchisees, one representative of fast food restaurant employees, and one representative of an advocate for fast food restaurant employees. Tony Marks, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Biles has used that immense platform to advocate for her fellow gymnasts and herself in an environment that, as numerous elite athletes have attested before, can swallow them whole. Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, 28 July 2021 Schweer, the AfD adviser, tried to find a lawyer who could advocate for Marco in a civil lawsuit. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Now, Democrats are watching closely to make sure the White House continues to advocate for climate policy in legislation this summer. Andrew Duehren, WSJ, 5 July 2021 My point is that on many occasions, San Diegans are willing to show up and advocate in support of issues that didn’t directly impact them. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 June 2021 Several familiar faces pop up, including Rudy Giuliani, who was hired to advocate on Purdue's behalf in the mid-2000s, when the company faced a federal investigation. Brian Lowry, CNN, 10 May 2021 The law firm could also help advocate in federal court on behalf of Seminole for reimbursement of any public funds that were misspent by Greenberg. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, 27 Apr. 2021 It’s a coming-of-age story about a girl who grew up in post-war Brooklyn and transformed feelings of being an outsider into a quest to understand others and to advocate for empathy and humanity in the face of massive technological transformations. Susanna Schrobsdorff, Time, 14 Mar. 2021 Doula’s are also essential for helping mothers advocate for better care throughout and post their pregnancies—which is crucial considering Black women die due to pregnancy complications at rate of three to four times that of white women. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 24 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near advocate

advocacy research

advocate

advocateship

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Statistics for advocate

Last Updated

15 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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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
: a person who works for a cause or group
: a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law : lawyer

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

More from Merriam-Webster on advocate

Nglish: Translation of advocate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of advocate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about advocate

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