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

Extracted from the root of a plant native to West Africa, the drug produces psychedelic effects akin to a waking dream and is said by its advocates to spirit away withdrawal symptoms with a single dose, leaving users sober and uninterested in smack. Wired, "A Detox Drug Promises Miracles—If It Doesn't Kill You First," 15 Sep. 2019 PCOS Challenge formed a caucus to scout out members of Congress who were willing to work with the organization as its advocates on Capitol Hill, Ottey says. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Why Is PCOS Still So Hard for Doctors to Understand?," 12 Sep. 2019 The issue was taken to Capitol Hill this week, where advocates for better borrower protection made their case before the House Financial Services Committee to debate what to do about this $1.6 trillion problem. David Klein, Quartz, "The US doesn’t have a student debt problem. It has a college tuition crisis," 12 Sep. 2019 After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won't run dry . Jennifer Peltz, Fortune, "U.S. Commemorates 9/11 as Its Aftermath Extends and Evolves," 11 Sep. 2019 After years of legislative gridlock, dwindling money in the fund and fervent activism by ailing first responders and their advocates, Congress this summer made sure the fund won’t run dry . Jennifer Peltz, The Denver Post, "U.S. to commemorate 9/11 as its aftermath extends and evolves," 10 Sep. 2019 Barrasso: Paul Heyman is one of your biggest advocates in the business. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "Q&A: Ricochet Can’t Believe What He’s Accomplished as ‘Just a Kid From Kentucky’," 6 Sep. 2019 Rosalie was a tireless advocate and fighter for those less fortunate than herself. courant.com, "Frances Rosalie Morris," 1 Sep. 2019 The complaints said Wilson and Cassidy behaved in an intimidating fashion toward immigrants and their advocates. Tal Kopan, SFChronicle.com, "AG William Barr promotes immigration judges with high asylum denial rates," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Unlike the other candidates, who have advocated banning the further sale of assault weapons, O’Rourke’s plan involves confiscating such weapons under a forced buyback program. Tara Law, Time, "Beto O'Rourke's Bold Statement on Gun Control: 'Hell Yes' He Wants to Take Your AR-15," 13 Sep. 2019 Her ideas are inspired by Australian soil health educator Graeme Sait, owner of Nutri-Tech Solutions, who advocates building humus and healthy soil to improve crop yields. Los Angeles Times, "Don’t pull the weeds in Rainbeau Mars’ edible garden," 12 Sep. 2019 Guiney, 51, was a sales director and ocean enthusiast who advocated for the protection of sharks. CBS News, "What we know about the California boat fire victims," 6 Sep. 2019 Several families have also accused the school of trying to silence students who advocated on behalf of Fitzgerald last year. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Roncalli High School president to retire after fundraising campaign, year of controversy," 6 Sep. 2019 Those who advocate fiscal prudence, social liberalism and an orderly departure from the EU have been routed. The Economist, "How Britain’s staid Conservative Party became a radical insurgency," 5 Sep. 2019 Another fear is that evidence that genes play only a partial role could embolden people who insist being gay is a choice and who advocate tactics like conversion therapy. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Death of the ‘Gay Gene’," 3 Sep. 2019 But Zelis said there are both patients and doctors who are advocating for telemedicine and that attitudes are changing. Ginger Christ, cleveland.com, "Digital diagnosis on the rise: Telemedicine connects more NE Ohio doctors with patients," 25 Aug. 2019 But a recent report by Boston Consulting Group and two other groups that advocate for sustainability found that the industry’s efforts are not helping enough to offset its growth. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "There’s reason to be skeptical of fashion’s new landmark environmental pact," 24 Aug. 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

19 Sep 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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