admonish

verb
ad·mon·ish | \ ad-ˈmä-nish \
admonished; admonishing; admonishes

Definition of admonish 

transitive verb

1a : to indicate duties or obligations to

b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner were admonished for being late

2 : to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to admonished them to be careful … users are admonished to change passwords regularly … —Mark Pothier

3 : to say (something) as advice or a warning The sign admonished, "Watch your step." "Please be silent while I tell my story," LaPautre admonished. —Louise Erdrich

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from admonish

admonisher noun plural admonishers
admonishment \-mənt \ noun plural admonishments

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

When Should You Use admonish?

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.

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

One official admonished them to keep quiet about the firefighters' deaths. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "Granite Mountain Hotshots: An untold story from the day 19 firefighters died," 23 June 2018 On the other side of this spectrum, Yasir’s family and friends admonish him for being a man without a clear path. Robyn Bahr, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Love Is_': TV Review," 18 June 2018 Flynn’s largesse has its roots in gleaning, a biblical instruction taken from Leviticus that admonishes farmers to leave crops for people in poverty. Alfred Lubrano, Philly.com, "In Chesco, volunteer farmers grow food for neighbors in need," 5 June 2018 The inspector admonished the university to handle lab animals appropriately. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, "UC Berkeley researchers’ errors resulted in deaths of 22 lab animals," 16 May 2018 As the story spread, Mrs. Trump’s communications director published an extraordinary statement on Tuesday that admonished the news media for reporting on the plagiarism claims. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Primary results confirm 2018 is a terrible year to be a House Republican," 9 May 2018 As the story spread, Melania Trump’s communications director published an extraordinary statement on Tuesday that admonished the news media for reporting on the plagiarism claims. Katie Rogers, BostonGlobe.com, "Did Melania Trump plagiarize from the Obamas again? The White House has a scathing answer," 8 May 2018 Going 6-1 against the Pirates and Mets revealed a team finding its familiar groove for the summer, thriving on controversy created by pitchers accused of being too soft and by slides admonished for being too hard. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "Jake Arrieta, returning to Wrigley Field with Phillies, transformed Cubs into a team to be feared," 4 June 2018 The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates even spent 5,000 words admonishing Mr. West for straying too far from his betters’ thinking. Jason Whitlock, WSJ, "Kanye Had One of the Best Tweets of All Time," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'admonish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of admonish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for admonish

Middle English amonysshen, admonisshen, amonescen, alteration (with assimilation to the verbal suffix -issh, -esce, borrowed from Anglo-French -iss-, going back to the Latin inceptive suffix -ēsc-, -īsc-) of amonesten, borrowed from Anglo-French amonester, going back to Vulgar Latin *admonestāre, probably derivative of *admonestus, past participle of Latin admonēre "to give a reminder to, give advice to, caution" (modeled on comestus, past participle of comedere "to eat up, consume") from ad- ad- + monēre "to bring to the notice of, give warning" — more at mind entry 1

Note: The source of *admonestāre is uncertain. A cross between admonēre and molestāre, "to disturb, annoy, worry," has been hypothesized, though the lack of any Romance progeny for molestus, molestāre, etc., militates against the presence of this verb in proto-Romance.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about admonish

Listen to Our Podcast about admonish

Dictionary Entries near admonish

admix

admixture

adml

admonish

admonishing

admonition

admonitory

Statistics for admonish

Last Updated

4 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for admonish

The first known use of admonish was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for admonish

admonish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of admonish

: to speak to (someone) in a way that expresses disapproval or criticism

: to tell or urge (someone) to do something

admonish

verb
ad·mon·ish | \ ad-ˈmä-nish \
admonished; admonishing

Kids Definition of admonish

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on admonish

What made you want to look up admonish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!