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

Twenty people and three companies had already been charged in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Believe it or not, President Trump has been in Europe a little over 72 hours," 13 July 2018 Some Republicans in Congress have seized upon Mr. Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages to argue the broader investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is biased. Sadie Gurman, WSJ, "Rod Rosenstein Calls for United Front Against Russian Interference," 13 July 2018 But nothing the Clinton White House did comes anywhere near the constant barrage of conspiracy mongering that Donald Trump is using against special counsel Robert Mueller. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Trump won’t like Brett Kavanaugh’s position on independent investigations of the White House.," 12 July 2018 With special counsel Robert Mueller investigating whether President Trump obstructed justice, questions about whether a chief executive can be subpoenaed or indicted could potentially reach the Supreme Court. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Christian Science Monitor, "Democrats raise questions about Kavanaugh's views on executive power," 12 July 2018 As special counsel Robert Mueller looks into possible coordination between his presidential campaign and Moscow, Trump has suggested that the United States may recognize Russia's 2014 annexation of a Ukrainian peninsula. Avi Selk, Anchorage Daily News, "US ambassador to Estonia abruptly resigns over Trump's attacks on allies," 1 July 2018 Meyers quipped as a photo of special counsel Robert Mueller appeared on-screen. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "Seth Meyers Implores Justice Anthony Kennedy to Stick Around Until There's a New President," 28 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The court's conservatives, including California's Anthony Kennedy, complained that the law targets only clinics that counsel women to complete their pregnancies. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court rules against California law targeting anti-abortion pregnancy centers," 26 June 2018 The role of the deputy chief state’s attorney for operations, outlined in a state job posting, is to advise and counsel other attorneys in the chief state’s attorney’s office on investigative and prosecutive matters. Nicholas Rondinone, courant.com, "Commission Expected To Appoint New Deputy Chief State's Attorney," 13 July 2018 Lawyers are pumping out analyses counseling that hospitals must heel to the law and state regulation on medical marijuana. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati hospitals reluctantly realize that medical marijuana is coming to town," 11 July 2018 Treatment can range from counseling to hormone therapy to surgery. Laura A. Bischoff, ajc, "Ohio lawmakers back bill requiring teachers to out transgender students," 30 June 2018 Malfitano made a donation of around $10,000 to ship Geoffrey, per NJ.com, which explained that his business had counseled the toy company on selling assets. Fox News, "Statue of Toys 'R' Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe heading to children's hospital," 24 June 2018 For that reason, Zonca, who could not be reached for comment, has not been disciplined or verbally counseled, Banner said. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Records: State Police captain's friendship with towing boss under investigation," 19 June 2018 The law foresees the creation of a National Agency for Research and Development that will replace CONICYT, and a group of eight external advisers to counsel the government on the assignment of science funding. Tania Rabesandratana, Science | AAAS, "Chile, keen to become a knowledge society, creates a ministry of science," 6 June 2018 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

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

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Statistics for counsel

Last Updated

2 Nov 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

History and Etymology for counsel

Noun

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

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