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verb ad·mon·ish \ad-ˈmä-nish\

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. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to indicate duties or obligations to b :  to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner

  3. 2 :  to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to

ad·mon·ish·er noun
ad·mon·ish·ing·ly play \-ni-shiŋ-lē\ adverb
ad·mon·ish·ment play \-mənt\ noun

Examples of admonish

  1. “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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. They were admonished to take advantage of the opportunity.

  5. <my physician is always admonishing me to eat more healthy foods>

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

reprove, rebuke, reprimand, admonish, reproach, chide mean to criticize adversely. reprove implies an often kindly intent to correct a fault <gently reproved my table manners>. rebuke suggests a sharp or stern reproof <the papal letter rebuked dissenting clerics>. reprimand implies a severe, formal, often public or official rebuke <reprimanded by the ethics committee>. admonish suggests earnest or friendly warning and counsel <admonished by my parents to control expenses>. reproach and chide suggest displeasure or disappointment expressed in mild reproof or scolding <reproached him for tardiness> <chided by their mother for untidiness>.

Rhymes with admonish

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February 11, 2016

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