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 counsel (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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In a statement, the social network’s vice president and deputy general counsel say that Cambridge Analytica harvested user data through a third party app, violating the company’s policies protecting people’s information. Cnn Editorial Research, CNN, "Facebook Fast Facts," 2 May 2021 Hear from housing safety activist Eric Patton Smith, whose daughter died in the Roseland fire; former Department of Buildings general counsel Mark Limanni, and ChangeLab Solutions senior attorney Greg Miao. chicagotribune.com, "Free virtual event: 42 fires, 61 deaths and a broken system of city oversight. Join us to discuss ‘The Failures Before the Fires’," 30 Apr. 2021 Gene Hamilton, vice president and general counsel at America First Legal, is also listed as a lawyer on the Texas case. Lauren Mcgaughy, Dallas News, "Texas AG Ken Paxton tapping outside attorneys, including Trump allies, for high-profile lawsuits," 28 Apr. 2021 The general counsel disclosed unspecified information from the grand jury proceedings sometime between March 31 and April 14, according to an indictment. Scott Travis, sun-sentinel.com, "Timeline: How a grand jury indicted school chief Robert Runcie and other leaders," 22 Apr. 2021 Berk, 88, reportedly sent the email to association members and staff, as well as the group’s general counsel and chief operating officer, Gregory Goeckner, the outlet reported on Sunday. Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner, "Former Hollywood Foreign Press Association president ousted after sharing email calling Black Lives Matter a 'racist hate movement'," 21 Apr. 2021 Luminar, a newly public maker of laser lidar sensors that help self-driving cars see their surroundings, has hired Tesla’s acting general counsel Alan Prescott as chief legal officer. Alan Ohnsman, Forbes, "Elon Musk Is Critic Of Laser Lidar For Autonomous Cars, But Top Tesla Lawyer Joins Luminar," 21 Apr. 2021 Kirsten Daru, Tile’s general counsel, will testify before Congress again just a day after Apple unveiled a new product called AirTags, which will directly compete with Tile in helping people track their items. Washington Post, "Tile will accuse Apple of tactics it alleges are bullying, a day after iPhone giant unveiled a competing product," 21 Apr. 2021 It was sent out to the association’s members, its staff and the group’s general counsel and chief operating officer, Gregory Goeckner. Stacy Perman Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "After NBC calls on HFPA to oust ex-president, citing ‘racist rhetoric,’ Phil Berk is out," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Sherry Johnson-Miller, 46, is one of the women who pleaded with DeWitt to counsel her husband. Washington Post, "Men lag women in coronavirus vaccinations, especially in Black communities," 24 Apr. 2021 One concern: The ACIP might convene and counsel such action while the cases were probed further. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Pause Driven by Risk of Mistreating Blood Clots," 18 Apr. 2021 The historical record, moreover, should counsel us to regard this nascent campaign largely as a public relations stunt. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: 100 CEOs met to discuss opposing anti-voting laws. Don’t expect them to do anything," 12 Apr. 2021 There were more staff members and more time to counsel patients about their medications. NBC News, "Overworked, understaffed: Pharmacists say industry in crisis puts patient safety at risk," 17 Mar. 2021 Among those expected to attend are co-counsel Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker, relatives and representatives of the Breonna Taylor Foundation. Donna M. Owens, Essence, "Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor's Family And Activists To Honor The One Year Anniversary Of Her Murder," 13 Mar. 2021 Before the argument, the court considered more than 100 cases that involved a variety of questions concerning the right to counsel, according to Ulrich. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona man's case leaves lasting impact on suspects by creation of 'Miranda warning'," 9 Mar. 2021 The same could not be said of the farm employees, who Caramelli did not counsel directly, and were still taking hydroxychloroquine under the advice of local physicians. Erin Schumaker, ABC News, "Hydroxychloroquine and other 'miracle cures' continue to fuel Brazil's outbreak," 4 Apr. 2021 Financial advisors counsel clients about their financial affairs. R.j. Shook, Forbes, "Advisor Success Hinges On Team Culture, Communication," 18 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about counsel

Time Traveler for counsel

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for counsel

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counsel. Accessed 15 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 counsel (audio) \

Medical Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to advise especially seriously and formally after consultation

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on counsel

What made you want to look up counsel? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!