View synonyms for advance


[ ad-vans, -vahns ]

verb (used with object)

, ad·vanced, ad·vanc·ing.
  1. to move or bring forward:

    The general advanced his troops to the new position.

    Antonyms: withdraw

  2. to bring into consideration or notice; suggest; propose:

    to advance reasons for a tax cut.

    Synonyms: offer, propound, adduce

    Antonyms: withdraw

  3. to improve; further:

    to advance one's interests.

    Synonyms: promote, forward

  4. to raise in rank; promote:

    The board of directors advanced him to president.

  5. to raise in rate or amount; increase:

    to advance the price.

  6. to bring forward in time; accelerate:

    to advance growth;

    to advance clocks one hour.

    Synonyms: speed up, hasten, quicken, force

  7. to supply beforehand; furnish on credit or before goods are delivered or work is done.
  8. to furnish as part of a stock or fund.
  9. to supply or pay in expectation of reimbursement:

    They advanced her $5000 against future royalties.

    Synonyms: loan, lend

  10. to schedule at a later time or date:

    to advance a meeting from early to late fall.

  11. Informal. to do advance publicity for:

    to advance a rock singer's personal appearances;

    the most heavily advanced sports event in history.

  12. Archaic. to raise, as a banner.

verb (used without object)

, ad·vanced, ad·vanc·ing.
  1. to move or go forward; proceed:

    The troops advanced.

    Antonyms: retreat

  2. to increase in quantity, value, price, etc.:

    His stock advanced three points.

  3. (of a color, form, etc., on a flat surface) to move toward or be perceived as moving toward an observer, especially as giving the illusion of space. Compare recede 1( def 3 ).
  4. to improve or make progress.

    Synonyms: prosper, flourish, thrive

  5. to grow or rise in importance, status, etc.:

    to advance in rank.

    Antonyms: decrease

  6. Informal. to provide publicity; do promotion:

    He was hired to advance for a best-selling author.


  1. a forward movement; progress in space:

    the advance of the troops to the border.

  2. promotion; improvement in importance, rank, etc.:

    his advance to the position of treasurer.

    Synonyms: advancement, growth

  3. Usually advances.
    1. attempts at forming an acquaintanceship, reaching an agreement, or the like, made by one party.
    2. actions or words intended to be sexually inviting.

    Synonyms: tender, offer, proposal, overture

  4. addition to price; rise in price:

    an advance on cottons.

  5. Commerce.
    1. a giving beforehand; a furnishing of something before an equivalent is received:

      An advance on his next month's salary permitted him to pay his debt on time.

    2. the money or goods thus furnished:

      He received $100 as an advance against future delivery.

  6. Journalism.
    1. copy prepared before the event it describes has occurred:

      The morning papers carried advances on the ceremony, which will take place tonight.

    2. a press release, wire-service dispatch, or the like, as one containing the text or partial text of a speech, sent to arrive in advance of the event to which it is related. Compare release copy.
  7. the leading body of an army.

    Synonyms: spearhead, van, vanguard, advance guard

  8. Military. (formerly) the order or a signal to advance.
  9. Informal.
    1. publicity done before the appearance of a noted person, a public event, etc.:

      She was hired to do advance for the candidate.

    2. a person hired to do advance publicity for an event:

      He is regarded as the best advance in the business.

  10. Automotive, Machinery. an adjustment made in the setting of the distributor of an internal-combustion engine to generate the spark for ignition in each cylinder earlier in the cycle. Compare retard ( def 5 ).
  11. Geology. a seaward movement of the shoreline.


  1. going or placed before:

    an advance section of a train.

  2. made or given ahead of time:

    an advance payment on a loan.

  3. issued ahead of time:

    an advance copy of the president's speech.

  4. having gone beyond others or beyond the average.


/ ədˈvɑːns /


  1. to go or bring forward in position
  2. foll by on to move (towards) in a threatening manner
  3. tr to present for consideration; suggest
  4. to bring or be brought to a further stage of development; improve; further
  5. tr to cause (an event) to occur earlier
  6. tr to supply (money, goods, etc) beforehand, either for a loan or as an initial payment
  7. to increase (a price, value, rate of occurrence, etc) or (of a price, etc) to be increased
  8. intr to improve one's position; be promoted

    he advanced rapidly in his job

  9. archaic.
    tr to promote in rank, status, or position


  1. forward movement; progress in time or space
  2. improvement; progress in development
  3. commerce
    1. the supplying of commodities or funds before receipt of an agreed consideration
    2. the commodities or funds supplied in this manner
    3. ( as modifier )

      an advance supply

  4. Also calledadvance payment a money payment made before it is legally due

    this is an advance on your salary

  5. a loan of money
  6. an increase in price, value, rate of occurrence, etc
  7. a less common word for advancement
  8. in advance
    1. beforehand

      payment in advance

    2. foll by of ahead in time or development

      ideas in advance of the time

  9. modifier forward in position or time

    advance booking

    an advance warning

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Derived Forms

  • adˈvancer, noun
  • adˈvancingly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • ad·vancing·ly adverb
  • over·ad·vance verb overadvanced overadvancing noun
  • unad·vancing adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of advance1

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English avauncen, from Anglo-French, Old French avanc(i)er, from Vulgar Latin abantiāre (unrecorded), verb derived from Late Latin abante “in front (of ),” from Latin ab “away from, off” + ante “before”; ad- by mistaking a- for a- 5 in the 16th century

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Word History and Origins

Origin of advance1

C15: advauncen, altered (on the model of words beginning with Latin ad- ) from C13 avauncen, via Old French from Latin abante from before, from ab- away from + ante before

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. in advance of, in front of; before:

    Heralds walked in advance of the king.

  2. in advance, ahead of time; beforehand:

    You must get your tickets in advance.

More idioms and phrases containing advance

see in advance ; make advances .

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Synonym Study

Advance, move on, proceed all imply movement forward. Advance applies to forward movement, especially toward an objective: to advance to a platform. Proceed emphasizes movement, as from one place to another, and often implies continuing after a halt: to proceed on one's journey. Move on is similar in meaning to proceed; it does not, however, imply a definite goal: The crowd was told to move on.

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Example Sentences

Last week, the Senate GOP tried to advance a relief package that was a mere fraction of what House Democrats have demanded, ringing in at just around $300 billion in new spending.

Structural reforms designed to advance political equality are also a viable legislative agenda in terms of public opinion.

From Vox

That means supporting the small businesses that fuel our economy, advancing racial equity across our economic system, and creating millions of good-paying jobs.

The moves sparked hopes that a political process leading to peace could advance.

From Ozy

Yet progress continues apace and advances are expected in the coming months.

From Fortune

And Epstein continues to steer money toward universities to advance scientific research.

All the slots for arrivals and departures are allocated months in advance.

This can also be prepared a few days in advance and stored, covered, in the fridge.

We may never know the full amount that the Kochs or other outside spenders donate to advance anti-union legislation.

Admission is free, but by invitation only, and advance RSVP is required.

Done, says he, why let fifty of our men advance, and flank them on each wing.

One adorable smile she gave him, and before he could advance to hold the door for her, she had opened it and passed out.

So strained became the relations between them, that for the last part of the advance they no longer met at meals.

The rebels wished to advance from Lutao, but were kept back by the fire from the gunboat Maria Cristina.

One, a man of distinguished looks and military bearing, was a little in advance of the other two.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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