Meaning of ADVANTAGE in English


ad ‧ van ‧ tage S2 W1 /ədˈvɑːntɪdʒ $ ədˈvæn-/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ advantage ≠ ↑ disadvantage , the disadvantaged; adjective : ↑ advantageous ≠ ↑ disadvantageous , ↑ advantaged ≠ ↑ disadvantaged ; verb : ↑ disadvantage ; adverb : ↑ advantageously ≠ ↑ disadvantageously ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: avantage , from avant 'before' , from Latin abante ; ⇨ ↑ advance 2 ]

1 . [uncountable and countable] something that helps you to be more successful than others, or the state of having this OPP disadvantage

advantage over

Her experience meant that she had a big advantage over her opponent.

Younger workers tend to be at an advantage (=have an advantage) when applying for jobs.

It might be to your advantage (=it might help you) to take a computer course of some kind.

2 . [uncountable and countable] a good or useful feature that something has

advantage of

One of the many advantages of living in New York is that you can eat out at almost any time of day.

advantage over

This printer has several advantages over conventional printers.

3 . take advantage of somebody to treat someone unfairly in order to get what you want, especially someone who is generous or easily persuaded:

Don’t lend them the car – they’re taking advantage of you!

4 . take advantage of something (to do something) to use a particular situation to do or get what you want:

I took advantage of the good weather to paint the shed.

You’ll want to take full advantage of the beach-front clubs.

5 . use/turn something to your/good advantage to use something that you have or that happens in order to achieve something:

How could he turn the situation to his advantage?

Burns used his family connections to good advantage.

6 . show something to (good/great) advantage to make the best features of someone or something very noticeable:

Her dress showed her tanned skin to great advantage.

7 . advantage somebody used in tennis to show that the person named has won the next point after the score was 40–40

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meanings 1 & 2)

■ verbs

▪ have an advantage ( also enjoy an advantage formal )

Our parents didn’t have all the advantages that we have.


Western countries enjoyed considerable advantages in terms of technology.

▪ get/gain an advantage

Both teams tried to get an advantage.

▪ give somebody an advantage

His height gives him a big advantage.

▪ work to your advantage (=make you have an advantage – often used when this is unexpected)

Sometimes a lack of experience can work to your advantage.

▪ see the advantage (=understand the advantage)

I can see the advantage of living near the station.

■ adjectives

▪ a big/great/massive/huge advantage

It’s a great advantage to be able to speak some Spanish.

▪ a slight advantage (=a small one)

Karpov enjoyed a slight advantage over his opponent.

▪ an unfair advantage

Companies that receive government subsidies have an unfair advantage.

▪ a definite/distinct advantage (=one that you can clearly notice)

Electronic trading has a number of distinct advantages.

▪ a real advantage (=a definite advantage)

The new system has some real advantages.

▪ an added advantage (=an extra advantage)

Candidates with experience in Sales and Marketing would have an added advantage.

▪ a political advantage

Republicans have a political advantage in most of those areas.

▪ a military advantage

The military advantage had shifted towards the rebels.

▪ a psychological advantage

Winning the first game gives you a psychological advantage over your opponent.

■ phrases

▪ the advantages and disadvantages of something

the advantages and disadvantages of living in a big city

▪ the advantages outweigh the disadvantages (=the advantages are more valuable)

When it comes down to working from home, you have to decide if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


► Do not say ' a good advantage '. Say a big advantage or a real advantage .

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THESAURUS (for Meaning 2)

▪ advantage a good feature that something has, which makes it better, more useful etc than other things:

The great advantage of digital cameras is that there is no film to process.

▪ benefit a feature of something that has a good effect on people’s lives:

Regular exercise has many benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease.

▪ merit a good feature that something has, which you consider when you are deciding whether it is the best choice:

The committee will consider the merits of the proposals.


The merits and demerits of (=the good and bad features of) alternative funding systems were widely discussed in the newspapers.


The chairman saw no great merit in this suggestion (=he did not think that it was a good idea) .

▪ virtue an advantage that makes you believe that something is a good thing:

They believed in the virtues of culture, civilization, and reason.


He’s always extolling the virtues of hard work (=saying that hard work is a good thing) .

▪ the good/great/best thing about something especially spoken used when mentioning a good feature of something. This phrase is rather informal and you should not use it in formal essays:

The good thing about cycling is that you don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a traffic jam.

▪ the beauty of something is that used when you want to emphasize that something has a very good or useful feature:

The beauty of the plan is that it is so simple.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.