An advocate (AD-və-kit) is someone who supports a cause, like an advocate for outdoor recess. Advocate (AD-və-kate) is also a verb meaning to speak in favor of, so you can advocate for that outdoor recess by urging your school to play outside!

As a noun, an advocate is a person who represents another person’s interests, like a lawyer does. In fact, the word comes from the courtroom – it’s from Latin advocare, to “add” a “voice.” To advocate is to add a voice of support to a cause or person. An advocate is anyone who adds that voice by representing another person in court, or by supporting or working toward a particular course of action.

Definitions of advocate

n a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea

advocator, exponent, proponent
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Samuel Adams
American Revolutionary leader and patriot; an organizer of the Boston Tea Party and signer of the Declaration of Independence (1722-1803)
Susan Brownell Anthony
United States suffragist (1820-1906)
William Dawes
American patriot who rode with Paul Revere to warn that the British were advancing on Lexington and Concord (1745-1799)
Benjamin Franklin
printer whose success as an author led him to take up politics; he helped draw up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; he played a major role in the American Revolution and negotiated French support for the colonists; as a scientist he is remembered particularly for his research in electricity (1706-1790)
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
political and spiritual leader during India's struggle with Great Britain for home rule; an advocate of passive resistance (1869-1948)
Nathan Hale
a soldier of the American Revolution who was hanged as a spy by the British; his last words were supposed to have been `I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country' (1755-1776)
John Hancock
American revolutionary patriot who was president of the Continental Congress; was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence (1737-1793)
Patrick Henry
a leader of the American Revolution and a famous orator who spoke out against British rule of the American colonies (1736-1799)
Francis Hopkinson
American Revolutionary leader and patriot; a signer of the Declaration of Independence (1737-1791)
Julia Ward Howe
United States feminist who was active in the women's suffrage movement (1819-1910)
Samuel Huntington
American revolutionary leader who signed the Declaration of Independence and was president of the Continental Congress (1731-1796)
Henry Laurens
leader of the American Revolution and president of the Continental Congress (1724-1792)
Richard Henry Lee
leader of the American Revolution who proposed the resolution calling for independence of the American Colonies (1732-1794)
Mary Ashton Rice Livermore
United States suffragist (1820-1905)
Robert R. Livingston
American Revolutionary leader who served in the Continental Congress and as minister to France (1746-1813)
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
South African statesman who was released from prison to become the nation's first democratically elected president in 1994 (born in 1918)
George Mason
American Revolutionary leader from Virginia whose objections led to the drafting of the Bill of Rights (1725-1792)
Robert Morris
leader of the American Revolution who signed the Declaration of Independence and raised money for the Continental Army (1734-1806)
Esther Hobart McQuigg Slack Morris
United States suffragist in Wyoming (1814-1902)
Lucretia Coffin Mott
United States feminist and suffragist (1793-1880)
Thomas Paine
American Revolutionary leader and pamphleteer (born in England) who supported the American colonist's fight for independence and supported the French Revolution (1737-1809)
Robert Treat Paine
American Revolutionary leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence (1731-1814)
Charles Stewart Parnell
Irish nationalist leader (1846-1891)
William Patterson
American Revolutionary leader (born in Ireland) who was a member of the Constitutional Convention (1745-1806)
Josiah Quincy
American patriot who presented the colonists' grievances to the English king (1744-1775)
Jeannette Rankin
leader in the women's suffrage movement in Montana; the first woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives (1880-1973)
Paul Revere
American silversmith remembered for his midnight ride (celebrated in a poem by Longfellow) to warn the colonists in Lexington and Concord that British troops were coming (1735-1818)
Benjamin Rush
physician and American Revolutionary leader; signer of the Declaration of Independence (1745-1813)
Haym Salomon
American financier and American Revolutionary War patriot who helped fund the army during the American Revolution (1740?-1785)
Anna Howard Shaw
United States physician and suffragist (1847-1919)
Roger Sherman
American Revolutionary leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution (1721-1793)
Julia Evelina Smith
United States suffragist who refused to pay taxes until she could vote (1792-1886)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
United States suffragist and feminist; called for reform of the practices that perpetuated sexual inequality (1815-1902)
Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Augustin von Steuben
American Revolutionary leader (born in Prussia) who trained the troops under George Washington (1730-1794)
Lucy Stone
United States feminist and suffragist (1818-1893)
Jonathan Trumbull
American Revolutionary leader who as governor of Connecticut provided supplies for the Continental Army (1710-1785)
Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard
United States advocate of temperance and women's suffrage (1839-1898)
James Wilson
American Revolutionary leader who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence (1742-1798)
John Witherspoon
American Revolutionary leader and educator (born in Scotland) who signed of the Declaration of Independence and was president of the college that became Princeton University (1723-1794)
Victoria Clafin Woodhull
United States advocate of women's suffrage; in 1872 she was the first woman to run for the United States presidency (1838-1927)
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apologist, justifier, vindicator
a person who argues to defend or justify some policy or institution
an advocate of constitutional government
an advocate of Darwinism
democrat, populist
an advocate of democratic principles
an advocate of federalism
an advocate of Gnosticism
humanist, humanitarian
an advocate of the principles of humanism; someone concerned with the interests and welfare of humans
ideologist, ideologue
an advocate of some ideology
an advocate of internationalism
irredentist, irridentist
an advocate of irredentism
an advocate of isolationism in international affairs
an advocate of Jansenism
an advocate of libertarianism
an advocate of Maoism
an advocate of Marxism
an advocate of national independence of or a strong national government
an advocate of neoclassicism
an advocate of neutrality in international affairs
an advocate of nullification; someone who believes that a state can resist federal laws
drumbeater, partisan, zealot
a fervent and even militant proponent of something
an advocate of partitioning a country
an advocate of Platonism
an advocate of full legal protection for embryos and fetuses; someone opposed to legalized induced abortion
presenter, sponsor
an advocate who presents a person (as for an award or a degree or an introduction etc.)
an advocate of protectionism
an advocate of a republic (usually in opposition to a monarchy)
an advocate of strict observance of ritualistic forms
an advocate of rural living
an advocate of secessionism
an advocate of secularism; someone who believes that religion should be excluded from government and education
separationist, separatist
an advocate of secession or separation from a larger group (such as an established church or a national union)
interpreter, representative, spokesperson, voice
an advocate who represents someone else's policy or purpose
an advocate of the extension of voting rights (especially to women)
admirer, booster, champion, friend, protagonist, supporter
a person who backs a politician or a team etc.
a person who advocates the supremacy of some particular group or race over all others
advocate of teleology
an advocate of Thatcherism
an advocate of unilateralism
an informal representative
anglophil, anglophile
an admirer of England and things English
believer, truster
a supporter who accepts something as true
a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from his own
a devoted admirer and recorder of another's words and deeds
an enthusiastic and vocal supporter
civil libertarian
a libertarian who is actively concerned with the protection of civil liberties
a supporter of the Confederate States of America
a supporter of corporatism
doctrinaire, dogmatist
a stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions
economic libertarian
a libertarian who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state
enthusiast, partisan, partizan
an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of some person or activity
flack, flack catcher, flak, flak catcher
a slick spokesperson who can turn any criticism to the advantage of their employer
Francophil, Francophile
an admirer of France and everything French
free trader
an advocate of unrestricted international trade
an adherent of functionalism
a supporter of James II after he was overthrown or a supporter of the Stuarts
loyalist, stalwart
a person who is loyal to their allegiance (especially in times of revolt)
mouth, mouthpiece
a spokesperson (as a lawyer)
nationalist leader
the leader of a nationalist movement
New Dealer
a supporter of the economic policies in the United States known as the New Deal
Graecophile, philhellene, philhellenist
an admirer of Greece and everything Greek
mainstay, pillar
a prominent supporter
a supporter of parliament and Oliver Cromwell during the English Civil War
someone who endorses a motion or petition as a necessary preliminary to a discussion or vote
an admirer of G. B. Shaw or his works
a male spokesperson
a female spokesperson
endorser, indorser, ratifier, subscriber
someone who expresses strong approval
a woman advocate of women's right to vote (especially a militant advocate in the United Kingdom at the beginning of the 20th century)
sympathiser, sympathizer, well-wisher
someone who shares your feelings or opinions and hopes that you will be successful
toaster, wassailer
someone who proposes a toast; someone who drinks to the health of success of someone or some venture
bagman, commercial traveler, commercial traveller, roadman, traveling salesman, travelling salesman
a salesman who travels to call on customers
maintainer, sustainer, upholder
someone who upholds or maintains
verifier, voucher
someone who vouches for another or for the correctness of a statement
a supporter of the American Revolution
white separatist
someone who advocates a society in which white people live separately from members of other races
white supremacist
a person who believes that the white race is or should be supreme
Type of:
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
a human being

n a lawyer who pleads cases in court

counsel, counsellor, counselor, counselor-at-law, pleader
Type of:
attorney, lawyer
a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice

v speak, plead, or argue in favor of

“The doctor advocated a smoking ban in the entire house”
moralise, moralize, preachify, sermonise, sermonize
speak as if delivering a sermon; express moral judgements
Type of:
exhort, press, urge, urge on
force or impel in an indicated direction

v push for something

recommend, urge
Type of:
advise, propose, suggest
make a proposal, declare a plan for something