Numerous powers read that you "gain advantage" - does that mean the character succeeds on the roll, check, or saving throw?

For instance the Sorcerer's Tides of Chaos reads:

Starting at 1st level, you can manipulate the forces of chance and chaos to gain advantage on one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. Once you do so, you must finish a long rest before you can use this feature again. Any time before you regain the use of this feature, the DM can have you roll on the Wild Magic Surge table immediately after you cast a sorcerer spell of 1st level or higher. You then regain the use of this feature.

What is this advantage mechanic and how does it work?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This question appears to be off-topic because it a trivial statement of the game's rules. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk - SE stop being evil Aug 20 '14 at 22:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Meta'd: Reopen canonical "What is advantage?" question \$\endgroup\$ – wax eagle Aug 20 '14 at 23:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ See How does rolling two dice and taking the highest affect the average outcome? for mathematical details on how advantage and disadvantage affect your chances of success. \$\endgroup\$ – mattdm Aug 23 '14 at 11:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think a few things weigh in favor of leaving this open: (1) (dis)advantage is a new mechanic and term of art for 5e; (2) (dis)advantage is a commonplace-enough term in plain English that its use is likely to cause cognitive dissonance; (3) its definition is separated enough from its usages in the book as to be likely-obscure to a first-time PHB reader. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 22 '16 at 15:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ (See also the Meta linked by WE for a more-verbose explanation of my reopen vote.) \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 22 '16 at 15:40

It does not mean you generically gain an advantage, it means you now have advantage on that roll, which is a mechanic introduced in fifth edition.

From Basic Rules, Page 4:

Advantage reflects the positive circumstances surrounding a d20 roll, while disadvantage reflects the opposite. When you have either advantage or disadvantage, you roll a second d20 when you make the roll. Use the higher of the two rolls if you have advantage, and use the lower roll if you have disadvantage. For example, if you have disadvantage and roll a 17 and a 5, you use the 5. If you instead have advantage and roll those numbers, you use the 17.

So, as a wild magic sorcerer, you can give any roll of yours advantage once per long rest.

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