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v. ad·vanced, ad·vanc·ing, ad·vanc·es
1. To cause to move forward: advance a chess piece.
2. To put forward; propose or suggest: advanced a novel theory during the seminar.
3. To aid the growth or progress of: advanced the cause of freedom.
4. To raise in rank; promote.
5. To cause to occur sooner: advance a deadline by one week.
6. To raise in amount or rate; increase.
7. To pay (money or interest) before due.
8. To supply or lend, especially on credit.
9. To serve as an advance person for (a trip to be made by a politician or a dignitary): "advanced the China trip during which the first trade agreements ... were signed" (Suzanne Perney).
10. Archaic To lift.
a. To go or move forward or onward.
b. To move against another, as when attacking: advance on the enemy's position.
2. To make progress; improve.
3. To rise in rank, position, or value.
4. To serve as an advance person for a trip to be made by a politician or a dignitary.
1. The act or process of moving or going forward.
2. A forward move, as toward an objective; a progressive step: an advance in genetic engineering.
3. An increase of price or value.
4. advances Opening approaches made to secure acquaintance, favor, or an agreement; overtures.
a. The furnishing of funds or goods on credit.
b. The funds or goods so furnished; a loan.
a. Payment of money before due: an advance on next month's salary.
b. The money so paid.
7. Preparation, especially publicity, done prior to the appearance of a public figure or the staging of a public event.
1. Made or given ahead of time: an advance payment.
2. Going before, in front, or forward.
in advance
Ahead of time; beforehand.
in advance of
In front of; ahead of.

[Middle English avauncen, from Old French avauncer, from Vulgar Latin *abantiāre, from Latin abante, from before : ab-, ab- + ante, before; see ant- in Indo-European roots.]

ad·vanc′er n.
Synonyms: advance, forward, foster, further, promote
These verbs mean to cause to move ahead or progress, as toward a goal: advance a worthy cause; forwarding their own interests; fostered friendly relations; furthering your career; efforts to promote sales.
Usage Note: When used as a noun, advance indicates forward movement (the advance of the army) or progress or improvement (an advance in molecular biology). Advancement is usually used figuratively to indicate promotion or movement beyond an established norm: career advancement. Unlike advance, advancement often implies the existence of an agent or outside force. Thus the advance of science means simply "the progress of science," whereas the advancement of science implies progress resulting from the action of an agent or force: The purpose of the legislation was the advancement of science.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.




  1. Advanced like armies —Anon

    This is used to describe forward sweeps in a figurative as well as literal sense. For example, book critic Anatole Broyard used it about William Faulkner’s sentences in a New York Times Book Review, May 17, 1987.

  2. (The terrible old miser) advanced, like the hour of death to a criminal —Honor de Balzac
  3. Advance like the shadow of death —John Ruskin
  4. Approached … as stealthily as a poacher stalking a hind —Donald Seaman
  5. Bearing down like a squad of tactical police —Marge Piercy
  6. Bearing down like a tugboat busily dragging a fleet of barges —Frank Swinnerton
  7. Came on like a last reel of a John Wayne movie —Line from “L. A. Law,” television drama segment, 1987

    The simile describes a sexually aggressive woman.

  8. Came [toward another person] … like a tidal wave running toward the coast —Isak Dinesen
  9. Came with slow steps like a dog who exhibits his fidelity —Honor de Balzac
  10. Come down, like a flock of hungry corbies, upon them —George Garrett

    Garret is comparing the corbies to a group of beggars.

  11. Come like a rolling storm —Beryl Markham
  12. Coming after me … like a wave —Calder Willingham
  13. Coming at him like a fullback —Wallace Stegner
  14. (She’d seen it) coming like a red caboose at the end of a train —Denis Johnson
  15. (Cancer) coming like a train —William H. Gass
  16. Coming like a truck —James Crumley

    Here the strong advance describes an aggressive woman.

  17. (People) converged upon them, like a stream of ants —Hortense Calisher
  18. (Faith’s father) descended … like a storm —Charles Johnson
  19. Descend on me like age —Margaret Atwood
  20. Forges ahead, lashing over the wet earth like a whipcrack —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  21. Glide toward them, as softly and slyly as a fly on a windowpane —Donald Seaman
  22. He was upon them like a sun-flushed avalanche —Frank Swinnerton
  23. Invade like weeds, everywhere, but slowly —Margaret Atwood
  24. Leaned forward like a magnificent bird of prey about to swallow its victim whole —Mike Fredman
  25. Like a figurehead on the prow of a foundering ship his head and torso pressed forward —John Updike
  26. Like fowls in a farm-yard when barley is scattering, out came the children running —Robert Browning
  27. Moved forward [towards an attractive woman] like so many iron filings to a magnet —J. B. Priestley
  28. (He was) moving toward me like a carnivorous dinosaur advancing on a vegetarian sibling —Joan Hess
  29. Pressing forward like the wind —Sir Walter Scott
  30. Pushed forward like the nervous antennae of a large insect —Rita Mae Brown
  31. [An odor] roll up … like fog in a valley —C.D.B. Bryan
  32. Slid forward slowly as an alligator —Rudyard Kipling
  33. (He could hear the roar of darkness) sweeping toward him like a fist —Jay Mclnerney
  34. Swooped like chickens scrambling for a grain of corn —Aharon Megged
  35. Went firmly on as if propelled —Stephen Crane
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.Advancing - moving forwardadvancing - moving forward      
progressive - favoring or promoting progress; "progressive schools"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
Movement amongst the trees of a forest shows that the enemy is advancing. The appearance of a number of screens in the midst of thick grass means that the enemy wants to make us suspicious.
The spy reported that the French, after crossing the bridge at Vienna, were advancing in immense force upon Kutuzov's line of communication with the troops that were arriving from Russia.
The mental suffering that Tarzan's sorrowful thoughts induced had the effect of numbing his keen, perceptive faculties, so that the advancing savages were almost upon him before he became aware that he was no longer alone upon the beach.

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