pro·​po·​nent | \ prə-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce proponent (audio) , ˈprō-ˌpō-\

Definition of proponent

: one who argues in favor of something : advocate

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Did You Know?

Proponent comes from the same Latin word as propose, so a proponent is someone who proposes something, or at least supports it by speaking and writing in favor of it. Thus, for example, proponents of casinos argue that they create jobs, whereas proponents of a casino ban—that is, casino opponents—argue that they're corrupting and they take money away from people who can't afford it. As a rule, just about anything important that gets proposed also gets opposed.

Examples of proponent in a Sentence

a vocal proponent of the use of electric-powered cars

Recent Examples on the Web

Oil and gas has spent some $30 million to defeat the proposition, dwarfing spending from the mostly grassroots proponents. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "States will vote on these energy and environment issues in midterm elections," 4 Nov. 2018 The biggest proponent of this look is Alyx’s Matthew Williams. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Has War-Core Replaced Normcore in Fashion?," 27 July 2018 In recent years, the Gates Foundation has become one of the most prolific proponents of harnessing genetic eco-technologies to combat public health threats. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "How ‘Self-Limiting’ Mosquitos Can Help Eradicate Malaria," 21 June 2018 For his part, Dorsey has been one of the more outspoken proponents of Bitcoin and digital currencies. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Hopes Bitcoin Will Become the Internet's Own Currency," 17 May 2018 Campbell was among one of the chief proponents who supported saving the Pure Oil station on West State Street in downtown Geneva from the wrecking ball about six years ago. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Geneva declares Old Mill Race Inn building a landmark," 9 May 2018 The nation’s largest gun lobby hosted more than 800 exhibitors and expected over 80,000 attendees to walk through the doors of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center and into earshot of the most prominent proponents of the right to bear arms., "Rifles, Pistols and Trump: Inside the NRA Annual Meeting," 6 May 2018 Yet the proponents of presidential war-making power, both in and out of Congress, continue to cite the 2001 AUMF as authority for the Executive Branch’s military ventures. Martin London, Time, "President Trump Can’t Declare War, Only Congress Can. So Why Won't It?," 18 Apr. 2018 But one of the Europa proponents — Cynthia Phillips, a planetary geologist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California — also gave a shout-out to the second rock from the sun. Mike Wall,, "Life on Venus? Why It's Not an Absurd Thought," 16 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proponent.' 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 proponent

1588, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for proponent

Latin proponent-, proponens, present participle of proponere

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Statistics for proponent

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proponent

The first known use of proponent was in 1588

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More Definitions for proponent



English Language Learners Definition of proponent

: a person who argues for or supports something


pro·​po·​nent | \ prə-ˈpō-nənt How to pronounce proponent (audio) \

Legal Definition of proponent

1 : one who argues in favor of something
2 : one who offers a will for probate

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Comments on proponent

What made you want to look up proponent? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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