admonish

verb
ad·​mon·​ish | \ ad-ˈmä-nish How to pronounce admonish (audio) \
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

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Other Words from admonish

admonisher noun, plural admonishers
admonishment \ ad-​ˈmä-​nish-​mənt How to pronounce admonishment (audio) \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web Border Patrol officials in Tucson admonished or verbally reprimanded Bowen for some of the excessive force accusations against him. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Former Arizona border agent sentenced to probation for striking migrant with his vehicle," 20 Nov. 2019 The researchers from the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington University admonished Facebook's role in spreading the content. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "The Source of Facebook’s Anti-Vaccine Ads," 15 Nov. 2019 While Democrats were lining up to admonish President Trump for his racist tweets targeting a group of left-wing congresswomen over the weekend, Republican criticisms so far have been few and far between. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "What Republicans are saying about Trump's racist tweets," 15 July 2019 Get our daily newsletter Mr Liu had taken the unusual step of holding a press conference in London to admonish the British government, which had warned China to abide by its commitments under the bilateral treaty. The Economist, "Protesters expose a fractured Hong Kong, but China’s grip only tightens," 5 July 2019 The vandal suspect was cited and released, while all four subjects were admonished for trespassing. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Cupertino crime report for the week of July 19," 11 July 2019 Chief Bill Scott ordered Tiffe to be admonished for the lapse and retrained. Anna Bauman, SFChronicle.com, "The Scanner: Oakland schools under siege by tech bandits," 9 Sep. 2019 In a phone call, Brennan is said to have admonished Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s security service (the FSB), to desist. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The Election Is Legitimate Only If the Democrats Win," 16 Aug. 2019 Last month, an appellate court admonished some of the defendants for a legal attack on Polster over an unrelated question. Anchorage Daily News, "Drug companies seek removal of judge in landmark opioid case," 14 Sep. 2019

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.

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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.

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Time Traveler for admonish

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

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Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Admonish.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/admonisher. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for admonish

admonish

verb
How to pronounce admonish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of admonish

formal
: 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 How to pronounce admonish (audio) \
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.

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Comments on admonish

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