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 Bridenstine has had no problem admonishing Musk in the past, usually in stern but lukewarm tones. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "NASA’s Moonshot Can’t Stop Tweeting About the Coronavirus," 1 May 2020 Deadspin obtained a copy of an ESPN memo admonishing its on-air talent to avoid analyzing Chinese policies. The Editors, National Review, "The NBA’s Disgrace," 11 Oct. 2019 Others were eating off the trunks of their cars, with parents admonishing kids in the backseat to watch out for the upholstery. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "For the Bay Area’s best chaat, our restaurant critic heads to Sunnyvale," 5 Jan. 2013 The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has admonished a Bexar County court-at-law judge for using social media to congratulate attorneys who won jury verdicts in her court. Elizabeth Zavala, ExpressNews.com, "State authorities admonish Bexar County judge for social media posts praising attorneys and prosecutors," 8 Apr. 2020 The suspect was arrested and booked into main jail after being admonished for trespassing. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Saratoga crime report for the week of July 5," 27 June 2019 March 31, 2020 Tedros was reluctant to admonish China, experts say. Los Angeles Times, "WHO is struggling against COVID-19 and a divided world testing its authority," 1 Apr. 2020 Street racing rampant in area, building owner says Fischer used his Sunday press briefing to once again admonish public gatherings like the street races that took place Friday and Saturday nights. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's quest to keep people apart stifled by disobedient golfers and street racers," 29 Mar. 2020 As the gate from the outdoor elephant yard lifted, a keeper admonished everyone to stand farther back, even though there were bars separating us from the animals. Justin Mott, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Are Learning How Asian Elephants Think—In Order to Save Them," 19 Mar. 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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Admonish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/admonish. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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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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