use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

ad·van·tage (ăd-văntĭj)
Share:
n.
1. A beneficial factor or combination of factors: Being tall is usually an advantage in basketball.
2. Benefit or profit; gain: It is to your advantage to invest wisely.
3. A relatively favorable position; superiority of means: A better education gave us the advantage.
4. Sports
a. The first point scored in tennis after deuce.
b. The resulting score.
5. Sports A situation in soccer in which the referee has signaled that a foul has been committed but delays making the call because the fouled team has a more favorable position in play. If the fouled team loses this favorable position, the referee then makes the call.
tr.v. ad·van·taged, ad·van·tag·ing, ad·van·tag·es
To afford profit or gain to; benefit.
Idioms:
take advantage of
1. To put to good use; avail oneself of: take advantage of all educational opportunities.
2. To make use of for selfish reasons; achieve a selfish goal by exploiting: took advantage of him by leaving him with the bill; took advantage of his unsuspecting nature.
3. To seduce.
to advantage
To good effect; favorably: The roses were displayed to advantage in a blue vase.

[Middle English avantage, from Old French, from avant, before, from Latin abante, from before; see ADVANCE.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.