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Advance vs. Advancement: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 18, 2023
Advance refers to moving forward or a payment made beforehand, while advancement signifies progression, improvement, or promotion in status or knowledge.

Key Differences

Advance can mean to move forward or make progress, often in a physical, financial, or strategic sense. Advancement, however, typically refers to the process of moving forward, especially in terms of career, technology, or personal development.
In a financial context, an advance is often a payment made beforehand or in anticipation of a future transaction. In contrast, advancement is not usually associated with finance but rather with progression or promotion in a job or field.
As a verb, 'to advance' means to move something forward or to promote an idea or cause. As a noun, 'advancement' often refers to the act of progressing in skill, knowledge, or status.
Advance can also be used in a military context to describe the forward movement of troops. Advancement, on the other hand, is more commonly used in a career or personal development context, implying improvement or elevation in position or understanding.
The usage of advance tends to be broader, encompassing various contexts like time ('advance notice'), finance, and physical movement. Advancement is more focused on the idea of progress or development, especially in careers, technology, or personal skills.

Comparison Chart


Forward movement, prepayment
Progression, improvement, promotion


Physical movement, finance, strategy
Career, technology, personal development

Common Usage

As a verb (to move forward) and a noun (prepayment)
As a noun (progress in status or knowledge)

Example Contexts

Military, financial transactions
Career growth, technological progress


Moving forward, preparation
Growth, elevation, improvement

Advance and Advancement Definitions


Payment made beforehand.
He received an advance on his salary.


Progress in technology or knowledge.
The advancement of medical science has saved many lives.


To move forward.
The army decided to advance at dawn.


Improvement or development in skills.
The course offers significant advancement in coding skills.


To promote or further a cause or idea.
She worked hard to advance her theories.


The act of moving forward in one's career.
Her advancement in the company was rapid.


Prior notice or preparation.
We require advance notice for bookings.


Elevation to a higher position or status.
His advancement to manager was well-deserved.


Progress or development.
The advance in technology is remarkable.


The process of progressing or moving forward.
The project showed little advancement this quarter.


To cause to move forward
Advance a chess piece.


A forward step; an improvement.


To put forward; propose or suggest
Advanced a novel theory during the seminar.


Development; progress
The advancement of knowledge.


Is "advance" ever a noun?

Yes, as a noun, advance can mean a forward movement or a payment made before it's due.

What is the meaning of "advance"?

Advance refers to a forward movement or progress in position, often implying a development or improvement.

Can "advance" be used as a verb?

Yes, advance can be used as a verb meaning to move forward or make progress.

How do you use "advance" in a sentence?

As a verb: "He advanced in his career quickly." As a noun: "They received an advance on their salary."

Does "advance" have a military usage?

In military context, advance refers to moving forward towards the enemy.

What is a synonym for "advance" (verb)?

Progress, proceed, or move forward are synonyms.

What does "advancement" mean?

Advancement refers to the process of promoting or moving forward in terms of progress or improvement.

How is "advancement" different from "advance"?

Advancement is more about the process or act of moving forward, while advance can be both the act and the result.

Can "advancement" refer to career growth?

Yes, career advancement is a common usage, referring to promotion or progress in one's job.

Can "advancement" be used in a social context?

Yes, it can refer to social progress or elevation in status.

What is an "advance party"?

An advance party is a group sent ahead to prepare for the arrival of the main group.

Can "advance" be used in a relationship context?

Yes, it can refer to the development or progression of a relationship.

What is a synonym for "advancement"?

Progression, development, or promotion are synonyms.

What is "technological advancement"?

It refers to the progress or development in technology.

Can "advancement" be financial?

Yes, it can refer to financial growth or progress.

Can "advance" describe a loan?

Yes, advance can refer to money provided as a loan, like a cash advance.

Is "advance" ever used in technology?

Yes, it can refer to technological progress or improvements.

Is "advancement" used in medicine?

Yes, it can refer to progress in medical research or treatments.

Does "advancement" imply success?

Often, yes. It usually implies improvement or moving to a better state.

Is "advancement" used in education?

Yes, it can refer to progress in learning or moving to higher levels of education.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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