counsel

noun
coun·​sel | \ ˈkau̇n(t)-səl How to pronounce counsel (audio) \

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

counsel

verb
coun·​sel | \ ˈkau̇n(t)-səl How to pronounce counsel (audio) \
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling\ ˈkau̇n(t)-​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce counselling (audio) \

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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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

President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed to cooperate with the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election; Manafort pleaded guilty to two federal crimes and avoided a second trial. orlandosentinel.com, "Today in history: September 14," 14 Sep. 2019 Biggs was an early and forceful voice questioning the origins of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Rep. Andy Biggs named new chairman of conservative House Freedom Caucus," 10 Sep. 2019 Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Anchorage Daily News, "Alaskan in Trump administration who pushed to expand drilling will join oil company," 4 Sep. 2019 Three weeks after leaving the Interior Department, energy counselor Vincent DeVito joined Cox Oil Offshore, which operates in the Gulf of Mexico, as its executive vice president and general counsel. Steven Mufson, BostonGlobe.com, "Top Interior official who pushed to expand drilling in Alaska to join oil company there," 4 Sep. 2019 Other speakers included Lisa Maxwell, director of the Training Institute, National Conflict Resolution Center and William Sailer, senior vice president and legal counsel for Qualcomm. San Diego Union-Tribune, "To raise $80 million from male investors, this female biotech CEO examined how men think," 3 Sep. 2019 The special counsel’s pit bull, Andrew Weissmann, sat in the front row across the aisle with a handful of prosecutors and FBI agents. Sam Patten, WIRED, "Kostya and Me: How Sam Patten Got Ensnared in Mueller’s Probe," 14 Aug. 2019 Before their takeover attempt was rejected, Related Companies purchased an $80 million share in Ladder Capital and Richard O'Toole, the company's vice president and general counsel, was installed on the board of directors, filings show. CBS News, "Trump fundraiser puts billionaire host Stephen Ross on defensive," 9 Aug. 2019 Among other things, Mueller’s final report revealed the Trump campaign welcomed Russian help and the president made possibly obstructive moves to interfere with the special counsel’s probe. Ana Radelat And Maya Moore, courant.com, "Rep. John Larson gets an earful about impeachment at emotional West Hartford town hall," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

These new protections would complement a 2017 law that made New York the first city to implement a universal right to counsel, guaranteeing free legal assistance for tenants facing eviction. New York Times, "How New Rent Laws in N.Y. Help All Tenants," 21 June 2019 But Parker's attorneys contend in the court filing that his statements were not voluntary and violated his privileges against self-incrimination and right to counsel. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Suspect's statements to police right after Marshall County school shooting could be tossed," 7 Feb. 2019 Forget the right to counsel, the ability to defend yourself, the right confront your accuser or even cross-examine your accuser. Fox News, "Carter Page reacts to calls to declassify FISA documents," 15 Sep. 2018 Sherman wasn’t counseling him to not care, but to give his best and not stress about his uncertain future. Eric Branch, SFChronicle.com, "Azeez Al-Shaair’s resiliency and ability leads to spot on 49ers’ roster," 1 Sep. 2019 The American Medical Association encourages doctors to screen and counsel patients on firearm safety, which can include temporarily transferring guns during a crisis. Greg Miller, Science | AAAS, "Three suicide prevention strategies show real promise. How can they reach more people?," 22 Aug. 2019 She, in turn, counseled him to get help and to not end his life. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Cultural Fault Lines of I Love You, Now Die," 10 July 2019 On March 22, 2018, Chairman Barnes sent requests for sworn answers to interrogatories to counsel for Greitens, each of which sought disclosure of the various computing devices and electronic communications accounts under Greitens' control. kansascity, "Read full report from Missouri House committee investigating Greitens allegations | The Kansas City Star," 11 Apr. 2018 Players are often counseled not to base their decision purely on who’s their head coach. Stephen Means, cleveland.com, "Paris Johnson Jr.'s two recruitments to Ohio State and his growth as a 5-star prospect: Buckeyes recruiting," 15 Aug. 2019

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 and Verb

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

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Statistics for counsel

Last Updated

5 Oct 2019

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)

formal : 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)

formal
: 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 How to pronounce counsel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce counsel (audio) \

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 How to pronounce counselling (audio) \

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 How to pronounce counsel (audio) \
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

History and Etymology for counsel

Noun

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on counsel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with counsel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for counsel

Spanish Central: Translation of counsel

Nglish: Translation of counsel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of counsel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on counsel

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