Simple Definition of admonish
: to speak to (someone) in a way that expresses disapproval or criticism
: to tell or urge (someone) to do something
Full Definition of admonish
1 a : to indicate duties or obligations to b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner
2 : to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to
Examples of admonish in a sentence
“You landed in back of him,” said Paul, my guide and friend. As he admonished me, the fish turned obligingly, opened its mouth, wide and white, and engulfed my fly. —Peter Kaminsky, New York Times, 17 June 2001
He is sympathetic but never condescending, or patronizing, or moralizing. His purpose is not to admonish or deplore but to understand. —C. Vann Woodward, New York Times Book Review, 5 Feb. 1989
Cops are, from the first day in the academy, admonished that juveniles must not be shot unless in dire emergency … —Joseph Wambaugh, Lines and Shadows, 1984
They were admonished to take advantage of the opportunity.
<my physician is always admonishing me to eat more healthy foods>
Did You Know?
Admonish was borrowed in the 14th century (via Anglo-French) from Vulgar Latin admonestare, which is itself an alteration of the Latin verb admonēre, meaning "to warn." Admonēre, in turn, was formed by the combination of the prefix ad- and monēre, "to warn." Other descendants of monēre in English include monitor, monitory ("giving a warning"), premonition, and even a now archaic synonym of admonish, monish. Incidentally, admonish has a number of other synonyms as well, including reprove, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, and chide.
Origin of admonish
Middle English admonesten, from Anglo-French amonester, from Vulgar Latin *admonestare, alteration of Latin admonēre to warn, from ad- + monēre to warn — more at mind
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of admonish
ADMONISH Defined for Kids
Definition of admonish for Students
1 : to criticize or warn gently but seriously <The principal admonished a student for talking.>
2 : to give friendly advice or encouragement <I admonished them to keep trying.>
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