[ad-vans, -vahns]
See more synonyms for advance on
verb (used with object), ad·vanced, ad·vanc·ing.
  1. to move or bring forward: The general advanced his troops to the new position.
  2. to bring into consideration or notice; suggest; propose: to advance reasons for a tax cut.
  3. to improve; further: to advance one's interests.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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 recede1(def 3).
  4. to improve or make progress.
  5. to grow or rise in importance, status, etc.: to advance in rank.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  1. in advance, ahead of time; beforehand: You must get your tickets in advance.
  2. in advance of, in front of; before: Heralds walked in advance of the king.

Origin of advance

1200–50; Middle English avauncen < Anglo-French, Old French avanc(i)er < Vulgar Latin *abantiāre, verbal derivative of Late Latin abante in front (of) (Latin ab away from, off + ante before); ad- by mistaking a- for a-5 in the 16th cent.
Related formsad·vanc·ing·ly, adverbo·ver·ad·vance, verb, o·ver·ad·vanced, o·ver·ad·vanc·ing, nounun·ad·vanc·ing, adjective

Synonyms for advance

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

13. 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.

Antonyms for advance

1, 2. withdraw. 13. retreat. 17. decrease. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for advance

Contemporary Examples of advance

Historical Examples of advance

  • In this a step in advance of some of our neighbours was taken.

  • This request he intended to refuse, and enjoyed in advance the humiliation of young Rushton.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Accompanied by one of the blacks, Eyre went on in advance to find water.

  • The boy shouldered the carpetbag and started in advance, Robert following.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I am well aware of the criticism which will at once be passed on what I now advance.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

British Dictionary definitions for advance


  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 promotedhe advanced rapidly in his job
  9. (tr) archaic 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 called: advance payment a money payment made before it is legally duethis 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 (def. 1)
  8. in advance
    1. beforehandpayment in advance
    2. (foll by of)ahead in time or developmentideas in advance of the time
  9. (modifier) forward in position or timeadvance booking; an advance warning
See also advances
Derived Formsadvancer, nounadvancingly, adverb

Word Origin for advance

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
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for advance

mid-13c., avauncen, transitive, "improve (something), further the development of," from Old French avancier "move forward" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *abanteare (source of Italian avanzare, Spanish avanzar), from Late Latin abante "from before," composed of ab- "from" (see ab-) + ante "before, in front of, against" (see ante).

The -d- was inserted 16c. on mistaken notion that initial a- was from Latin ad-. From c.1300 as "to promote;" intransitive sense is mid-14c., "move forward." Meaning "to give money before it is legally due" is first attested 1670s. Related: Advanced; advancing. The adjective (in advance warning, etc.) is recorded from 1843.


c.1300, "boasting, ostentation," from advance (v.). Early 15c. as "advancement in rank, wealth, etc." Advances "amorous overtures" is from 1706.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with advance


see in advance; make advances.

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