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to move or bring forward:
The general advanced his troops to the new position.
to bring into consideration or notice; suggest; propose:
to advance reasons for a tax cut.
to improve; further:
to advance one’s interests.
to raise in rank; promote:
The board of directors advanced him to president.
to raise in rate or amount; increase:
to advance the price.
to bring forward in time; accelerate:
to advance growth; to advance clocks one hour.
to supply beforehand; furnish on credit or before goods are delivered or work is done.
to furnish as part of a stock or fund.
to supply or pay in expectation of reimbursement:
They advanced her $5000 against future royalties.
to schedule at a later time or date:
to advance a meeting from early to late fall.
Informal. to do advance publicity for:
to advance a rock singer’s personal appearances; the most heavily advanced sports event in history.
Archaic. to raise, as a banner.
to move or go forward; proceed:
The troops advanced.
to increase in quantity, value, price, etc.:
His stock advanced three points.
(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 1 (def 3).
to improve or make progress.
to grow or rise in importance, status, etc.:
to advance in rank.
Informal. to provide publicity; do promotion:
He was hired to advance for a best-selling author.
a forward movement; progress in space:
the advance of the troops to the border.
promotion; improvement in importance, rank, etc.:
his advance to the position of treasurer.
Usually, advances.

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

addition to price; rise in price:
an advance on cottons.

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.
the money or goods thus furnished:
He received $100 as an advance against future delivery.


copy prepared before the event it describes has occurred:
The morning papers carried advances on the ceremony, which will take place tonight.
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 .

the leading body of an army.
Military. (formerly) the order or a signal to advance.

publicity done before the appearance of a noted person, a public event, etc.:
She was hired to do advance for the candidate.
a person hired to do advance publicity for an event:
He is regarded as the best advance in the business.

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 (def 5).
Geology. a seaward movement of the shoreline.
going or placed before:
an advance section of a train.
made or given ahead of time:
an advance payment on a loan.
issued ahead of time:
an advance copy of the president’s speech.
having gone beyond others or beyond the average.
in advance, ahead of time; beforehand:
You must get your tickets in advance.
in advance of, in front of; before:
Heralds walked in advance of the king.
Contemporary Examples

Does he suppose it advances the cause of modern literature to show contempt for elite standards of scholarship?
The Best of Brit Lit Peter Stothard January 15, 2011

However, the team said that if Team USA advances, Altidore could be back for the next match.
USA vs. Germany World Cup Primer: Everything You Need to Know About the Epic Showdown Marlow Stern June 25, 2014

At least two potential candidates have rebuffed their advances.
Exclusive: White House Struggles to Replace Janet Napolitano at DHS Daniel Klaidman September 24, 2013

This idea that the state only advances and never retreats is contradicted by the record of the past half-century.
Commentary’s Symposium on the Future of Conservatism David Frum January 1, 2013

They will head home empty-handed while Germany advances to the glorious semifinals.
Soccer Diplomacy: Merkel, Greece Near Critical Final Round on Debt Barbie Latza Nadeau June 21, 2012

Historical Examples

He devotes his attention to Salom, who slights all his advances.
Oscar Wilde Leonard Cresswell Ingleby

He repulsed the advances of neighbors, and became what Robert called him—a miser.
Brave and Bold Horatio Alger

But there is yet another thing connected with the Famine advances, which is very likely to mislead.
The History of the Great Irish Famine of 1847 (3rd ed.) (1902) John O’Rourke

I shall repay the—hum—the advances I have had from you, sir, with peculiar pleasure.
Little Dorrit Charles Dickens

Closing the door softly behind her, she advances into the corridor, where she still finds Guy and Dr. Bland conversing earnestly.
Airy Fairy Lilian Margaret Wolfe Hamilton (AKA Duchess)

plural noun
(sometimes sing; often foll by to or towards) personal overtures made in an attempt to become friendly, gain a favour, etc
to go or bring forward in position
(foll by on) to move (towards) in a threatening manner
(transitive) to present for consideration; suggest
to bring or be brought to a further stage of development; improve; further
(transitive) to cause (an event) to occur earlier
(transitive) to supply (money, goods, etc) beforehand, either for a loan or as an initial payment
to increase (a price, value, rate of occurrence, etc) or (of a price, etc) to be increased
(intransitive) to improve one’s position; be promoted: he advanced rapidly in his job
(transitive) (archaic) to promote in rank, status, or position
forward movement; progress in time or space
improvement; progress in development

the supplying of commodities or funds before receipt of an agreed consideration
the commodities or funds supplied in this manner
(as modifier): an advance supply

Also called advance payment. a money payment made before it is legally due: this is an advance on your salary
a loan of money
an increase in price, value, rate of occurrence, etc
a less common word for advancement (sense 1)
in advance

beforehand: payment in advance
(foll by of) ahead in time or development: ideas in advance of the time

(modifier) forward in position or time: advance booking, an advance warning

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.

in advance
make advances


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