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 admonish (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 That led health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, to admonish Americans not to buy up limited supplies of face masks, which were desperately needed by hospitals. Liz Szabo, Los Angeles Times, "Many U.S. health experts underestimated the coronavirus — until it was too late," 21 Dec. 2020 That's a call officers make, and officers will sometimes gently admonish dispatchers for directing too large a response to an emergency. Peter Nickeas, CNN, "Covid-19 claims beloved Chicago dispatcher: 'His pride was going to work'," 29 Nov. 2020 Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. Casey Smith, Anchorage Daily News, "Infection rates soar in college towns as students return," 18 Sep. 2020 As the nation faces unprecedented coronavirus spread, a relative of the mayor of Naperville took to Twitter to publicly admonish him for attending a wedding party with more than 50 people this weekend in Florida. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, "Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, who touted plan for local mask mandate, defends attending large wedding in Florida," 23 Nov. 2020 Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. Casey Smith, Anchorage Daily News, "Infection rates soar in college towns as students return," 18 Sep. 2020 Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. Casey Smith, Anchorage Daily News, "Infection rates soar in college towns as students return," 18 Sep. 2020 Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. Casey Smith, Anchorage Daily News, "Infection rates soar in college towns as students return," 18 Sep. 2020 Dozens of infections have been blamed on off-campus parties, prompting university officials to admonish students. Casey Smith, Anchorage Daily News, "Infection rates soar in college towns as students return," 18 Sep. 2020

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

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Admonish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/admonish. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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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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