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advance

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noun American English pronunciation: advance /ədˈvæns/ 
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singularadvance
pluraladvances
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] progress or an instance of progress in science, technology, human knowledge, etc.

    In spite of all its advances, medical science still knows little about the brain.

    advance in:

    major advances in computer technology

    the advance of something:

    ethical questions raised by the advance of genetic engineering

  2. 2
    [countable] a forward movement toward someone or something, especially by an army

    The rebels continued their advance on the capital city.

  3. 3
    [countable] a payment for work that is given before the work is complete

    The author has signed a publishing deal for an advance of $800,000.

  4. 4

    advances

    [plural] an attempt to have a sexual relationship with someone, especially when they do not want it
    make advances:

    Evans denied making sexual advances to her.

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