advocate

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angel's advocate

One who looks for and argues in support of the positive aspects and benefits of a certain argument, whether or not they believe them to be true. it is the opposite of a "devil's advocate," who argues against something for the sake of argument, not due to a personal opinion. I know a lot of people oppose the building of a new railway, but let me play angel's advocate for a second and tell you about all the ways it will improve our city!
See also: advocate

be (the) devil's advocate

To argue against or attack an idea, argument, or proposition—even if one is in favor of it—for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details. Refers to the "Advocatus Diaboli," a person employed by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of a saint (and therefore help determine if that person is truly worthy of sainthood). I'm all for universal health care, but I'll be devil's advocate in asking how the government intends to fund such a massive undertaking. Tom is always the devil's advocate in any given conversation because he loves picking apart other people's arguments.
See also: advocate

play (the) devil's advocate

To argue against or attack an idea, argument, or proposition—even if one is in favor of it—for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details. Refers to the "Advocatus Diaboli," a person employed by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of a saint (and therefore help determine if that person is truly worthy of sainthood). I'm all for universal health care, but I'll play devil's advocate in asking how the government intends to fund such a massive undertaking. Tom is always playing devil's advocate in any given conversation because he loves picking apart other people's arguments.
See also: advocate, play

devil's advocate

One who argues against or attacks an idea, argument, or proposition—even if one is in favor of it—for the sake of debate or to further examine its strength, validity, or details. Refers to the "Advocatus Diaboli," a person employed by the Catholic Church to argue against the canonization of a saint (and therefore help determine if that person is truly worthy of sainthood). I'm all for universal health care, but let me be the devil's advocate for a moment. How do you propose the government fund such a massive undertaking? Tom always plays devil's advocate in any given conversation because he loves picking apart other people's arguments.
See also: advocate

play (the) devil's advocate

Fig. to put forward arguments against or objections to a proposition-which one may actually agree with-purely to test the validity of the proposition. (The devil's advocate opposes the canonization of a saint in order to prove that the grounds for canonization are sound.) I agree with your plan. I'm just playing the devil's advocate so you'll know what the opposition will say. Mary offered to play devil's advocate and argue against our case so that we would find out any flaws in it.
See also: advocate, play

devil's advocate

One who argues against a cause or position either for the sake of argument or to help determine its validity. For example, My role in the campaign is to play devil's advocate to each new policy before it's introduced to the public . This term comes from the Roman Catholic Church, where advocatus diaboli (Latin for "devil's advocate") signifies an official who is appointed to present arguments against a proposed canonization or beatification. It was transferred to wider use in the mid-1700s.
See also: advocate

play devil's advocate

COMMON If you play devil's advocate in a discussion, you pretend to disagree with what someone says in order to make the discussion interesting or to make people think hard about an issue. My motive for playing devil's advocate is to provoke them into thinking about what we mean when we say something is `genetic'. Note: People also use devil's advocate to describe someone who acts in this way. Interviewers may take on the role of devil's advocate simply to see how effectively you can support your idea in the face of opposition.
See also: advocate, play

play devil's advocate

take a side in an argument that is the opposite of what you really want or think.
A translation of the Latin phrase advocatus diaboli , devil's advocate is the popular name for the official in the Roman Catholic Church who puts the case against a candidate for canonization or beatification; he is more properly known as promotor fidei ‘promoter of the faith’.
1994 Jude Deveraux The Invitation She had played devil's advocate with herself a thousand times.
See also: advocate, play

a/the devil’s ˈadvocate

a person who argues against something, even though they really agree with it, just to test the arguments for it: Helen doesn’t really think that women shouldn’t go out to work. She just likes to play devil’s advocate.
See also: advocate

devil's advocate, (to play)

To take a position against something that many others support, either for the sake of argument or to examine its validity. The term is a translation of the Latin advocatus diaboli, an official appointed by the Roman Catholic Church to argue against a proposed canonization. By the 1700s it was extended to broader use. R. Buchanan used it in The Heir of Linne (1887), “Even the Socialist party regarded him as a devil’s advocate, and washed their hands of him.” More recently, David Baldacci had it in Hour Game (2004), “‘Didn’t you try your best to convince me he was innocent?’ . . . ‘Just playing devil’s advocate.’”
References in periodicals archive ?
Council of professional living donor advocates. Retrieved from http://www.kidney.org/transplanta tion/livingdonors/cplda.cfm
The Judge Advocate General's School began in World War II at the University of Michigan to train new judge advocates as the Judge Advocate General's Department rapidly expanded.
Together, they've developed a core curriculum for special education advocates, called Special Education Advocates Training (SEAT), which they piloted in California, New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
Vejil is among 200 victim advocates who serve in the San Diego community.
Taxpayer Advocate Service employees assist taxpayers experiencing economic harm, who are seeking help in resolving tax problems that have not been resolved through normal channels or who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should.
"Democrats are the party of hope, progress, and opportunity, and we're ready to lead," Kennedy tells The Advocate. "We're ready to put cynical, divisive politics behind us.
advocates a forum for their beliefs and in treating his interlocutors with respect.
"It is an inspiration to have the advocates not be afraid to tell us what they need from us scientists," answered Irma Russo, an investigator in the Fox Chase BCERC.
Today, the relationship between community advocates for HIV prevention, treatment, and housing work closely with elected officials to ensure that attention remains on this disease.
Quantitative studies that document Latinas' support for and use of abortion services validate the efforts of advocates who are working to improve access to these services.
CONSUMER HEALTH LIBRARIANS can and must function as health advocates within their communities, fostering and strengthening local health initiatives by joining community partnerships and providing health resources.
As might be expected, green advocates criticized the Bush bill and its regulatory heir, the Clean Air Interstate Rule, for failing to go far enough or fast enough in reducing pollution.
The 1998 IRS Restructuring Act requires the IRS to maintain a system of local taxpayer advocates. Local taxpayer advocates have primary contact with taxpayers that encounter problems dealing with the IRS.
SHIKARPUR -- Two advocates died in a road accident at Jamra Bus Stop at Sukkur-Shikarpur National Highway in the limits of Lakhi Ghulam Shah, here on late other day night.
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