Definition of advance in English:

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Pronunciation: /ədˈvɑːns/


1 [no object] Move forwards in a purposeful way: he advanced towards the dispatch box the troops advanced on the capital
More example sentences
  • He advanced on Sophia purposefully, then stopped.
  • She stood and advanced on the murderer of her friend.
  • Adam threw the harness he had been mending to the floor, stood up, and advanced on Joe.
move forward, proceed, move along, press on, push on, push forward, make progress, make headway, forge on, forge ahead, gain ground, approach, come closer, move closer, move nearer, draw nearer, near
dated draw nigh
1.1Move forward in time: as the nineteenth century advanced
More example sentences
  • As the performance advances into the nineteenth century, the paradoxes and ambiguities concerning the nature of absolute music pile up, to considerable dramatic effect.
  • In a similar vein, Nora recommends that community colleges advance into the twenty-first century prepared for a diverse student body.
  • The biotech century is advancing upon us, moment by moment.
1.2 [with object] Change the date of (an event) so as to occur earlier than planned: I advanced the schedule by several weeks
More example sentences
  • But the Election Commission disturbed this apple-cart when it advanced the elections, thus ruining their plan.
  • The election is not due in the State until 2003, but political analysts say the BJP is keen to capitalise on its current lead in the polls by advancing the date.
  • The question is what is the need for advancing the date of elections by a few months.
bring forward, put forward, move forward, make earlier
2Make or cause to make progress: [no object]: our knowledge is advancing all the time [with object]: it was a chance to advance his own interests
More example sentences
  • But to advance our knowledge such views need to be supported by rigorous analytical reasoning and the dispassionate gathering of cases and data.
  • Discourse is necessary for advancing knowledge.
  • I am a firm believer in sound science, and I believe that the shuttle mission has played a crucial role in advancing our knowledge of the universe we live in.
promote, further, forward, help, aid, assist, facilitate, boost, strengthen, improve, make better, benefit, foster, cultivate, encourage, support, back
progress, make progress, make headway, develop, improve, become better, thrive, flourish, prosper, mature;
evolve, make strides, move forward (in leaps and bounds), move ahead, get ahead
2.1 [no object] (Of shares) increase in price: the food group advanced 12p to 639p
More example sentences
  • All very well if Telecom shares advance in the first week, as is, admittedly, widely expected.
  • Nonetheless, AU Optronics shares advanced 1.35 percent to NT $45.2 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.
  • ‘In this environment it is difficult to see how Iona's share price can advance from current levels,’ Dixon said.
3 [with object] Put forward (a theory or suggestion): the hypothesis I wish to advance in this article
More example sentences
  • Frank has been making the rounds, advancing a theory that I believe is not without merit.
  • When I advanced my long-held theory that some of his constituents were living vicariously through his exploits, Wilson readily agreed.
  • Over the past few years, there has been an upsurge in student violence in T & T. Many have advanced theories as to how this menace can be solved.
4 [with two objects] Lend (money) to (someone): the building society advanced them a loan
More example sentences
  • Secondly, under the Housing Act 1985 the Secretary of State may advance money to recognized lending institutions to enable them to grant loans to first-home purchasers.
  • Moreover, if the bank had not advanced the money to the council, it would have employed the money on similar terms in its own business.
  • As the farmers' loan repayment problems mounted, how were they to convince the banks to advance additional money to allow them buy more cattle and keep their farms working?
lend, loan, credit, pay in advance, supply on credit;
British informal sub
4.1Pay (money) to (someone) before it is due: he advanced me a month’s salary
More example sentences
  • The reconciliation is needed to make sure the money advanced has been properly spent.
  • Giselle could hear Elaine pleading with her father to advance her allowance one month so that she could purchase some outfits.
  • At the company's office, I was shown a spreadsheet for a hypothetical client who had been advanced $8,500 in cash over six months.


1A forward movement: the rebels' advance on Madrid was well under way figurative the advance of civilization
More example sentences
  • The advance of the Red Army into eastern Europe produced a different outcome there.
  • This was a unique terrain for warfare, where rapid advances and swift movements of armies were extremely difficult.
  • Strategy and tactics were based on easily coordinated and controlled movements - advances, encirclements, or envelopments.
progress, headway, moving forward, forward movement;
2A development or improvement: advances in engineering techniques [mass noun]: decades of great scientific advance
More example sentences
  • However, huge advances in the development of anti-depressants coupled with greater understanding of the cause of depression are a cause for optimism, he said.
  • It has a special significance, too, for my brother and I who basically marked our childhood development by advances in video game technology.
  • We can look forward to further developments and advances in the future.
breakthrough, development, step forward, step in the right direction, leap, quantum leap, find, finding, discovery, invention, success;
headway, progress, advancement, evolution, improvement, betterment, furtherance
2.1An increase in amount or price: share prices showed significant advances
More example sentences
  • The advance in prices increased both government expenditures and debt.
  • Looking back, we now understand how the system was working: honest companies posted moderate growth and moderate stock price advances.
  • Ultimately they brought out enough nuts to put the market in an oversupply position and the price advance came to a screeching halt and slowly but surely the market started to inch its way down.
3An amount of money paid before it is due or for work only partly completed: the author was paid a £250,000 advance
More example sentences
  • During meetings he was often a bit drunk, and afterwards in Paris I saw him come to their apartment for an advance on the travel money due him, red-eyed, with a three-day beard.
  • People could gamble without panicking and planning to re-mortgage their home, or dashing out to get an advance on their paycheck from the corner money store.
  • In many cases a child is sold into slavery as a result of a labor contract that his or her parents have signed into or in exchange for a sum of money that is often described as an advance on wages.
down payment, advance against royalty, deposit, retainer, prepayment, front money, money up front
3.1A loan: an advance from the bank
More example sentences
  • In the case of most loans to consumers, and for smaller commercial loans, the advance is usually credited forthwith to the borrower's current account and stands at his disposal at any time.
  • The bank's loan and advances portfolio registered 42 per cent growth, reaching the level of K79.55 billion.
  • Day after day, my wife and I receive unsolicited offers for credit cards, home equity loans and cash advances.
4 (usually advances) An approach made to someone with the aim of initiating sexual or amorous relations: her tutor made advances to her
More example sentences
  • They may also have the expectation that alcohol makes it easier to make sexual advances, and thus they may use alcohol intentionally for achieving such a purpose.
  • Therefore, rejections of sexual advances may be seen as inappropriate and may be ignored.
  • When two men pulled up in a station wagon, the girls rebuffed their sexual advances.
sexual approaches, overtures, moves;
a pass, proposal, proposition, offer, suggestion, appeal
informal come-on


Done, sent, or supplied beforehand: advance notice advance warning advance payment
More example sentences
  • Global Volunteers does not, as a matter of course, send community hosts advance checks for supplies.
  • But they also have the effect of preventing the customer from getting the loan quickly, especially since the charge document has to be complete in all respects before the advance copy is sent.
  • Art theft was a serious business for Hitler: even before occupying Holland, he sent an advance team to identify the most desirable collections.
preliminary, leading, forward, foremost, at the fore, sent (on) ahead, first, exploratory, explorative, pilot, vanguard, test, trial
early, previous, prior, beforehand



in advance

Ahead in time: you need to book weeks in advance
More example sentences
  • If you know what you are going to buy in advance, ring ahead to check availability.
  • If booking things weeks in advance is the only way to get in, that's what we do.
  • You are advised to book in advance or turn up early because tickets sell-out quickly.
beforehand, before, ahead of time, earlier, previously, in readiness

in advance of

Ahead of; before: we went on ahead in advance of the main group
More example sentences
  • Several practice sessions will run in advance of two qualifying sessions to set the grid for the first two races.
  • Try to start making childcare arrangements well in advance of when you need them.
  • Please note all items should be sent well in advance of date of publication.



Example sentences
  • By 1.30 pm only one billion shares had traded in FTSE stocks, with advancers outweighing decliners by three-to-one on the main index.
  • To complicate issues further, one of the two advancers in the group has the unenviable task of facing the other tournament favourite, France, in the second round.
  • On the New York Stock Exchange, decliners beat advancers by 9-to - 7 as 980m shares changed hands.


Middle English: from Old French avance (noun), avancer (verb), from late Latin abante 'in front', from ab 'from' + ante 'before'. The initial a- was erroneously assimilated to ad- in the 16th century.

Words that rhyme with advance

Afrikaans, à outrance, chance, dance, enhance, entrance, faience, France, glance, lance, mischance, outdance, perchance, prance, Provence, stance, trance

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ad|vance

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