from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To cause to move forward.
  • intransitive verb To put forward; propose or suggest.
  • intransitive verb To aid the growth or progress of.
  • intransitive verb To raise in rank; promote.
  • intransitive verb To cause to occur sooner.
  • intransitive verb To raise in amount or rate; increase.
  • intransitive verb To pay (money or interest) before due.
  • intransitive verb To supply or lend, especially on credit.
  • intransitive verb To serve as an advance person for (a trip to be made by a politician or a dignitary).
  • intransitive verb Archaic To lift.
  • intransitive verb To go or move forward or onward.
  • intransitive verb To move against another, as when attacking.
  • intransitive verb To make progress; improve.
  • intransitive verb To rise in rank, position, or value.
  • intransitive verb To serve as an advance person for a trip to be made by a politician or a dignitary.
  • noun The act or process of moving or going forward.
  • noun A forward move, as toward an objective; a progressive step.
  • noun An increase of price or value.
  • noun Opening approaches made to secure acquaintance, favor, or an agreement; overtures.
  • noun The furnishing of funds or goods on credit.
  • noun The funds or goods so furnished; a loan.
  • noun Payment of money before due.
  • noun The money so paid.
  • noun Preparation, especially publicity, done prior to the appearance of a public figure or the staging of a public event.
  • adjective Made or given ahead of time.
  • adjective Going before, in front, or forward.
  • idiom (in advance) Ahead of time; beforehand.
  • idiom (in advance of) In front of; ahead of.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A moving forward or toward the front; a forward course; progress in space: as, our advance was impeded by obstructions.
  • noun Milit., the order or signal to advance: as, the advance was sounded.
  • noun A step forward; actual progress in any course of action: often in the plural: as, an advance in religion or knowledge; civilization has made great advances in this century.
  • noun An act of approach; an effort for approximation or agreement; anything done to bring about accord or any relation with another or others: with to before the person and toward before the object or purpose: as, A made an advance or advances to B, or toward acquaintance with B.
  • noun A forward position; place in front, at the head, or in the lead: as, his regiment took the advance in the march. The state of being forward or in front; a being or going at the head or in the lead: chiefly in the phrase in advance: as, the groom rode in advance of the carriage; he is far in advance of the other pupils.
  • noun He who or that which is at the head or in the lead; the foremost or forward part; especially, the leading body of an army.
  • noun In schools, a lesson not previously learned: opposed to review.
  • noun Advancement; promotion; preferment: as, an advance in rank or office.
  • noun An offer or tender.
  • noun In com.: Addition to price; rise in price: as, an advance on the prime cost of goods; there is an advance on cottons.
  • noun A giving before-hand; a furnishing of something before an equivalent is received, as money or goods, toward a capital or stock, or on loan, or in expectation of being reimbursed in some way: as, A made large advances to B.
  • noun The money or goods thus furnished.
  • noun In naval tactics, the distance made by a ship under way, in the direction of her course, after the helm has been put to one side and kept there: opposed to transfer, the distance made at right angles to the original course of the vessel before the helm was put over.
  • noun Beforehand; before an equivalent is received: as, to pay rent in advance.
  • noun In the state or condition of having made an advance: as, A is in advance to B a thousand dollars. Synonyms Advancement, Proficiency, etc. See progress, n.
  • To bring forward in place; move further in front.
  • To forward in time; accelerate: as, to advance the growth of plants.
  • To improve or make better; benefit; promote the good of: as, to advance one's true interests.
  • To promote; raise to a higher rank: as, to advance one from the bar to the bench.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English avauncen, from Old French avauncer, from Vulgar Latin *abantiāre, from Latin abante, from before : ab-, ab- + ante, before; see ant- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French avancer (French: avancer), from Late Latin abante, from ab + ante ("before"). The spelling with d was a mistake, a- being supposed to be from Latin ad. Avaunt is an earlier form of the same source-word.


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