Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To speak, plead, or argue in favor of. See Synonyms at support.
  • n. One that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender: an advocate of civil rights.
  • n. One that pleads in another's behalf; an intercessor: advocates for abused children and spouses.
  • n. A lawyer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who supports others to make their voices heard, or ideally for them to speak up for themselves.
  • v. To argue for someone else.
  • v. To encourage support for something.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who pleads the cause of another. Specifically: One who pleads the cause of another before a tribunal or judicial court; a counselor.
  • n. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses any cause by argument; a pleader.
  • n. Christ, considered as an intercessor.
  • intransitive v. To act as advocate.
  • transitive v. To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal or the public; to support, vindicate, or recommend publicly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To invoke.
  • To plead in favor of; defend by argument before a tribunal; support or vindicate.
  • In Scots law, formerly, to transfer from an inferior court to the Court of Session, as an action while still pending, or after judgment had been given, in order that the judgment might be reviewed. See advocation, 2.
  • To act as an advocate; plead.
  • n. One who pleads the cause of another in a court of law; specifically, a lawyer of full rank in a country, or practising before a court, in which the civil or the canon law prevails, as France and Scotland, and the admiralty and ecclesiastical courts of England.
  • n. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause by argument; a pleader in favor of any person or thing; an upholder; a defender: as, an advocate of peace or of the oppressed.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, a name commonly applied to the promoter of the faith, one of the college of consistorial advocates in the papal court, from his office of urging the objections against the virtues, miracles, etc., of a person proposed for canonization.
  • n. One given to bringing forward accusations against personal character.
  • n. In England, formerly, an official who prosecuted in all criminal cases falling under military law which concerned the crown; now, a subordinate member of the government who acts as the legal adviser of the crown in all matters of military law.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. push for something
  • v. speak, plead, or argue in favor of
  • n. a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
  • n. a lawyer who pleads cases in court

Etymologies

From Middle English advocat, lawyer, from Old French advocat, from Latin advocātus, past participle of advocāre, to summon for counsel : ad-, ad- + vocāre, to call; see wekw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French avocat, from Latin advocātus, past participle of advocāre ("to call for"). (Wiktionary)

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