advocate

noun
ad·​vo·​cate | \ ˈad-və-kət How to pronounce advocate (audio) , -ˌkāt \

Essential Meaning of advocate

1 : a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy a birth control advocate = an advocate of birth control [=a person who advocates birth control] a passionate/impassioned advocate of civil rights
2 US : a person who works for a cause or group a women's health advocate = an advocate for women's health She works as a consumer advocate.
3 : a person who argues for the cause of another person in a court of law : lawyer

Full 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 Additionally, Colicchio is a strong advocate of causes working to eliminate food insecurity by promoting a food system that values access, affordability, and nutrition over corporate interests. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, 2 Oct. 2021 Jolie has been an outspoken advocate of human rights. Sabrina Park, Harper's BAZAAR, 1 Oct. 2021 The 21 Jump Street alum has been a vocal advocate for autism awareness since revealing Rodney Jr.'s diagnosis in 2007. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 20 Sep. 2021 Jessamyn Stanley as well is a huge advocate of mine. Condé Nast Traveler, 15 Sep. 2021 Pinõ Tatuyo had been an early and enthusiastic advocate of bringing the Internet to the village. Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2021 Frank Bogert — the mayor at the time — was a big advocate of the effort. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 25 Aug. 2021 France's Emmanuel Macron was already a vocal advocate for a European security policy that is less reliant upon the United States. Kevin Liptak, CNN, 18 Aug. 2021 Yet Hirsch, a dual U.S. and Israeli citizen, remained an advocate of a Diaspora Jewish voice in Israeli policies, particularly as the policies impinged on the rights of non-Orthodox Jews. Ron Kampeas, sun-sentinel.com, 18 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Our next policy initiative is to advocate for better access and infrastructure to commercial compost. Christopher Marquis, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Jones, a former Cleveland Municipal Court judge, pioneered the Greater Cleveland Drug Court and later came to advocate for sentencing reforms for people convicted of low-level drug crimes. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 7 Oct. 2021 Marcano's family hopes to create a foundation in her honor to advocate for legal changes in the hiring process for employees that have access to people's homes, Washington said. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 6 Oct. 2021 Linzy Foster, who is from Austin, has been to the Capitol about a dozen times this year to advocate on behalf of her 7-year-old trans daughter. NBC News, 6 Oct. 2021 How this true story unfolds is bolstered by a committed supporting performance from Stanley Tucci as a victims advocate. David L. Coddon, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Sep. 2021 Attorney and advocate Rachael Denhollander, who is one of two advisers to the task force, said identifying, recognizing and acknowledging truth is crucial to making meaningful and effective change. Holly Meyer, Chron, 19 Sep. 2021 Twain is a longtime children’s rights advocate via her Shania Kids Can Foundation. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 17 Sep. 2021 Heather French Henry, former Miss America, and national veterans advocate will be the event Master of Ceremony. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, 7 Sep. 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

9 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Advocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocate. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for advocate

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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