counsel

noun
coun·sel | \ˈkau̇n(t)-səl \

Definition of counsel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : advice given especially as a result of consultation He was unwise to reject my counsel.

b : a policy or plan of action or behavior

3a archaic : purpose

b : guarded thoughts or intentions He was chary and given to keeping his own counsel.

4a plural counsel

(1) : a lawyer engaged in the trial or management of a case in court

(2) : a lawyer appointed to advise and represent in legal matters an individual client or a corporate and especially a public body

b : consultant sense 2

counsel

verb
coun·sel | \ˈkau̇n(t)-səl \
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling\ˈkau̇n(t)-s(ə-)liŋ \

Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: advise counselled them to avoid rash actions …— George Orwell

intransitive verb

: consult counseled with her husband

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Synonyms for counsel

Synonyms: Noun

admonishment, admonition, advice, guidance, input

Synonyms: Verb

adjure, admonish, advise

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Examples of counsel in a Sentence

Noun

We seek counsel from the rich and powerful to learn their secret … — Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly, 13 Feb. 2004 God had done a poor job, and Soaphead suspected that he himself could have done better. It was in fact a pity that the Maker had not sought his counsel. — Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, (1970) 1994 No matter how much time he is given, counsel would always like more, but the Chief Justice will not grant an extra minute unless the lawyer is responding to a question from the bench. — Robert H. Bork, The Tempting Of America, 1990 Counsel were to be employed.  … And when the matter had been decided by the lawyers, Lord Fawn was to express his regret for having suspected his lady-love! — Anthony Trollope, The Eustace Diamonds, 1871 You were unwise to reject my counsel. The student sought counsel from her teacher. She is serving as counsel for the defendant. All counsel are expected to obey the rules of the court.

Verb

He balked at authority and, according to Mr. Green, tuned you out if you tried to counsel him. — David Grann, New Republic, 14 Feb. 2000 She had six children, whom she counseled and with great wisdom and patience. — Erma Bombeck, The Best of Bombeck, (1965) 1967 I had counselled Catherine to dine upstairs, but as soon as he perceived her vacant seat he sent me to call her. — Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, 1847 He counsels people who are trying to quit drinking. concerned parents counseling about the problem of substance abuse in their community
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been charged with conspiring to hack Democrats during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new indictment in the probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Devlin Barrett And Matt Zapotosky, chicagotribune.com, "12 Russian intelligence officers charged by Mueller in hack of DNC, Clinton emails," 13 July 2018 The lawyer was ensnared in a federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election earlier this year, when FBI agents raided his office and hotel room after receiving a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller III. NBC News, "Michael Cohen says family, country 'have my first loyalty.' What about Trump?," 2 July 2018 For the most part, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling into the 2016 US presidential election has operated silently and stealthily, like a submarine. Peter Grier, The Christian Science Monitor, "What new Mueller indictments say about his direction," 13 July 2018 With Robert Mueller’s special-counsel investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia inching towards a conclusion, the Supreme Court could be called upon to resolve several critical questions in the coming months. The Economist, "Brett Kavanaugh could shape the law for the next 40 years," 12 July 2018 Kavanaugh's past positions on presidential power may become a focus as special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia investigation hangs over the presidency. CBS News, "Brett Kavanaugh's views on presidential power could become focus with ongoing Russia probe," 10 July 2018 Kavanaugh would land a job at the White House as a legal counsel and later was appointed to the U.S. District Court of Appeals. Wayne K. Roustan, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has worked on high-profile South Florida cases," 10 July 2018 Seth Grossman served as a deputy general counsel and counselor to the secretary at DHS in 2010 through 2013. Margo Schlanger, Washington Post, "You’ve heard the calls to #AbolishICE. Here’s what that could mean.," 9 July 2018 The Trump White House has withdrawn its defense of the act in a Texas federal court, forcing a coalition of 16 states to step in as defense counsel. Michael Hiltzik, latimes.com, "The Trump administration finds another way to throw sand in Obamacare's gears, at patients' expense," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Uresti has a constitutional right to counsel, but not the lawyer of his own choice, Bemporad added, citing established law. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Judge refuses to appoint Uresti’s lawyer of choice for appeal," 12 July 2018 Will Kendall finally let the show into her relationship life (remember she was spotted with Gigi Hadid's little brother Anwar recently), or will Khloé bring us into a couples counseling meeting with her and Thompson? Morgan Baila, refinery29.com, "Is It Just Me, Or Are The Kardashians Really Quiet Right Now?," 25 June 2018 Immigration Delay Ryan hesitated for months on the immigration proposals that many Republicans say their constituents want, counseling members to campaign on economic growth and last year’s tax cuts. Anna Edgerton, Bloomberg.com, "Fundraising Haul, Not Legislation, Is Ryan's Parting Gift to GOP," 8 June 2018 The judges wrote in their opinion there was no indication Morgan waived his right to counsel. Heather Nolan, NOLA.com, "Convicted killer must return to court for re-sentencing, appeals court rules," 30 May 2018 Then come the non-profits: learning-disabled children from the Compassionate Heart Ministry, a family counselling group, staff from a mental-health foundation. The Economist, "Why are Dutch-Americans so different from the Dutch?," 24 May 2018 The agreement also establishes new policies and procedures concerning court defendants' right to counsel, the imposition and collection of fines and court costs, and revocation of probation and contempt practices, among other items. Erin Edgemon, AL.com, "SPLC, Gardendale settle lawsuit over private probation company," 7 Mar. 2018 Some Mormons have expressed dismay that they were counseled to stay in abusive relationships or keep matters in house. Brady Mccombs, Fox News, "Woman says Mormon church failed to report dad's sexual abuse," 28 June 2018 Banner said the officers identified by Anders were verbally counseled not to do it again. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Records: State Police captain's friendship with towing boss under investigation," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'counsel.' 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 counsel

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for counsel

Noun

Middle English conseil, from Anglo-French cunseil, from Latin consilium, from consulere to consult

Verb

see counsel entry 1

Noun

Old French conseil advice, from Latin consilium discussion, advice, council, from consulere to consult

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Learn More about counsel

Phrases Related to counsel

marriage counseling

Statistics for counsel

Last Updated

19 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for counsel

The first known use of counsel was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for counsel

counsel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of counsel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: advice given to someone

law : a lawyer who represents a person or group in a court of law

counsel

verb

English Language Learners Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give advice to (someone)

: to listen to and give support or advice to (someone) especially as a job

: to suggest or recommend (something)

counsel

noun
coun·sel | \ˈkau̇n-səl \

Kids Definition of counsel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : advice given My grandfather's counsel was to be patient.

2 plural counsel : a lawyer representing someone in court

counsel

verb
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling

Kids Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give advice to : advise She counseled him to study harder.

2 : to suggest or recommend The doctor counseled rest.

counsel

noun
coun·sel | \ˈkau̇n(t)-səl \

Medical Definition of counsel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: advice given especially as a result of consultation

counsel

transitive verb
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling\-s(ə-)liŋ \

Medical Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to advise especially seriously and formally after consultation

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counsel

noun
coun·sel | \ˈkau̇n-səl \
plural counsel

Legal Definition of counsel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: lawyer: as

a : a lawyer participating in the management or trial of a case in court …to have the assistance of counsel for his defenseU.S. Constitution amend. VI a right to counsel

b : a lawyer appointed or engaged to advise or represent a client in legal matters (as negotiations or the drafting of documents) — compare attorney

Note: A judge who has acted as counsel in a matter (as by advising an investigator) is disqualified from hearing the case.

of counsel

1 : assisting another lawyer in a case was attorney of counsel

2 : employed on a part-time basis a tax attorney will move also and become of counselNational Law Journal

counsel

transitive verb
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling

Legal Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

: advise

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Comments on counsel

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