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, primarily 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

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

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

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 ?
Twenty-five percent of the practitioners interviewed spoke about the government and policy makers' continued advocation for testing and accountability.
Amplification of the components of the analytical framework Rationale Statutory requirements Municipalities were asked to assess the External advocation strength of influence of each driver (on a Financial imperatives scale of 1 to 6) to give a simple understanding Client expectations of the motives for introducing asset management with more Leadership specific factors under each driver examined further Skills & capacity through interview Practice Culture 6 elements of 'graded' practice were identified for each of Governance eight components; making a total of 48 elements of asset management Organisation practice'.
[T]he opportunity of such organization to further its activities and the advocation of criminal syndicalism and sabotage is greatly lessened [under the law], for it prevents such a society, among other things, from having the opportunity before a large group of disseminating its propaganda, or selling its literature or soliciting membership in its organization.
(8,9) Here, we review the historical, current, and developing use of molecular testing in the diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of breast carcinoma, with an emphasis on summarizing evidence for a molecular classification of carcinoma subtypes and an advocation for incorporating molecular technologies into standard practice.
Any claim relating to copyright infringement, advocation of illegal activities, defamation of character, incitement to riot, treason, etc.
(24.) The element of socialization that involves a strong promotion of togetherness and spontaneously shared emotion may be culminated within the activist community in festive practices and the advocation of transgressive pleasures.
Rex, The Time Is Now: Advocation for a Professional Air Liaison Officer Corps (Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University, 2007), 12.
Wegner, among many others, locates religion as one of the dominant cultural themes of the utopia, yet the utopian form has most often been used in English literature either as an advocation of religious freedom, as Thomas More's Utopia has been read, or to predict a religion-free state.
Among the numerous international honors bestowed upon her for her advocation of democracy are the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, the 1991 Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament, the 1993 Jawaharlal Nehru Award from India, and the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom.
This is an advocation of journalistic cowardice of the highest order.
I won't give away the plot but I can tell you he still dies in the end." Speaking of politics, he said: "Up here in the North we have a minister for the environment who has just banned a TV advert advocation energy conservation by switching off houselights.
Thus, the advocation that satisfied employees provide a higher level of external service quality, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction (Johnson 1996, Griffith 2001).