|1.||(tr; may take a clause as object) to support or recommend publicly; plead for or speak in favour of|
|2.||a person who upholds or defends a cause; supporter|
|3.||a person who intercedes on behalf of another|
|4.||barrister solicitor See also counsellor a person who pleads his client's cause in a court of law|
|5.||Scots law the usual word for barrister|
|[C14: via Old French from Latin advocātus legal witness, advocate, from advocāre to call as witness, from vocāre to call]|
(Gr. parakletos), one who pleads another's cause, who helps another by defending or comforting him. It is a name given by Christ three times to the Holy Ghost (John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, where the Greek word is rendered "Comforter," q.v.). It is applied to Christ in 1 John 2:1, where the same Greek word is rendered "Advocate," the rendering which it should have in all the places where it occurs. Tertullus "the orator" (Acts 24:1) was a Roman advocate whom the Jews employed to accuse Paul before Felix.
in law, a person who is professionally qualified to plead the cause of another in a court of law. As a technical term, advocate is used mainly in those legal systems that derived from the Roman law. In Scotland the word refers particularly to a member of the bar of Scotland, the Faculty of Advocates. In France avocats were formerly an organized body of pleaders, while the preparation of cases was done by avoues; today this distinction exists only before the appellate courts. In Germany, until the distinction between counselor and pleader was abolished in 1879, the Advokat was the adviser rather than the pleader. The term has traditionally been applied to pleaders in courts of canon law, and thus in England those who practiced before the courts of civil and canon law were called advocates. In the United States the term advocate has no special significance, being used interchangeably with such terms as attorney, counsel, or lawyer. See also barrister; lawyer; solicitor.
Learn more about advocate with a free trial on Britannica.com.