advocate (ad-v[schwa]-kit), n.

1. A person who assists, defends, pleads, or prosecutes for another.

public advocate. An advocate who purports to represent the public at large in matters of public concern, such as utility rates or environmental quality.

2. Civil & Scots law. A barrister; specif., a member of the Faculty of Advocates (the Scottish counterpart of a barrister) or of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen (a society of solicitors). • A member of the Aberdeen society is designated “advocate in Aberdeen.” Cf. BARRISTER.

3. Hist. Eccles. law. A person who is trained in both canon and secular law and can (1) appear in an ecclesiastical or admiralty court on another’s behalf, and (2) give legal advice. • Members of the College of Advocates (also known as Doctors’ Commons) bore the title of advocate. After the dissolution of the College in 1857, the term became indistinguishably associated with barrister. — advocate (ad-v[ schwa]-kayt), vb. — advocacy (ad-v[schwa]-k[schwa]-see), n.