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 I'll be the 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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
These results demonstrate that in international tariff negotiations, a capital importer is unlikely to be an advocator of free trade.
Today, The Advocator Group announced that its free mobile app, Disability Answers[TM], has reached its first milestone, with over 1,000 downloads to date.
For the longest time I have been an advocator of reducing our tissue and paper towel usage.
Iconic South African trumpeter, composer and human rights advocator Hugh Masekela has confirmed a new date for his Dubai Opera show; he will now perform on March 8, 2018.
Wei-I Lee, the first advocator of OpenCourseWare (OCW) movement in Taiwan.
The Consulate General disclosed that it has appointed an advocator in Los Angeles in coordination with the family of the defunct to follow up the case together with the prosecutor general in charge of the case.
She is strong advocator of strong bilateral relations between the two countries.
Fekter, who is a staunch advocator of holding on to Austria's controversial bank confidentiality, said that the exchange of data with other EU countries or with the US could not be "one-way streets.
Popular, enthusiastic, charitable and an advocator of the complete student experience, Aston's optics society president for 2011/12, Zain Nathu has made a real difference in her first year at the university.
The global human rights advocator singled out the case of Adil Ibraim Karar, a 56-year-old activist who remains detained by the NISS despite the release of over 70 other activists who attempted to stage anti-government protests earlier this year, as deserving of urgent action.
The workshops will focus on how to survive in a diverse society during such a conflict, how to be an agent of peace and how not to become an advocator of violence and hatred that breaks up Bahrain's social composition.
AaThe one-day event comprised of a number of different activities including a fashion show that was organized by Khawla Hourani, an active advocator of social work, and was modeled by a group of women with speech and hearing disabilities.
However, is it not strange that neither the Northumberland Tourist Board, the official advocator of our countryside and also the Duke of Northumberland, the county's biggest landowner and self-confessed conservationist, have nothing to say about this - the greatest threat to our landscape since opencast mining?
The ex-Beatle, who himself is a strong animal rights advocator, has appealed to the Baywatch star to help, after both became involved in a campaign to help the plight of seals.
A passionate advocator of Round Table takeaways (Satwa branch being far better than Garhoud, it should be noted), my dining partner's idea of the perfect pizza is a glorified artery-clogging meat-fest, stacked with every type of animal, mineral and vegetable known to mankind.