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

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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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

This year, that program will also be available to thousands of additional high school students who are working in Boston this summer, said Tom Crohan, assistant vice president and counsel for John Hancock. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston’s MLK Scholars gather for motivation, celebration," 13 July 2018 That view has obvious implications for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign. Brian Bennett, Time, "How Brett Kavanaugh Could Change the Supreme Court—and America," 12 July 2018 Outside the judiciary, Kethledge has worked in private practice and was briefly counsel to the Ford Motor Company. Celeste Katz, Glamour, "Trump's Supreme Court Pick May Come From This List. Here's Where They Stand on Women's Issues.," 9 July 2018 Davis was special counsel for Clinton from 1996 to 1998 during campaign finance investigations. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Former Trump Fixer Michael Cohen Is Hiring a Major Trump Critic as His Own Lawyer," 6 July 2018 Manafort has repeatedly denied his involvement with DNC email hack, but this revelation could come under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "WikiLeaks calls for Guardian editor’s decapitation if Manafort story proves false," 27 Nov. 2018 The charges were filed by special independent counsel Bill Forsyth, who was appointed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate Michigan State’s handling of Nassar. David Eggert, The Seattle Times, "Ex-MSU president charged with lying to police about Nassar," 20 Nov. 2018 The next year, just three months after independent counsel Robert Fisk was named to lead the Whitewater investigation, President Clinton nominated Justice Breyer. Stavros Agorakis, Vox, "Read the full transcript of Sen. Collins’s speech announcing she’ll vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh," 5 Oct. 2018 Kavanaugh wrote the final report on behalf of independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr that led to impeachment charges against President Clinton. latimes.com, "Democrats hope Obamacare fears will derail Kavanaugh as White House moves to soften his image," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Whitaker also counseled Trump on how to pressure the Justice Department into naming a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton. Rachel Withers, Vox, "Trump really wants you to think he doesn’t know Whitaker," 10 Nov. 2018 Cooke said the school day would be shorter than usual through Friday — the end of the school year — so officials can focus on counseling students still shaken by the shooting. Rick Callahan, Post-Tribune, "Noblesville students return to class five days after school shooting," 30 May 2018 Sachs, based in Columbia, counsels families, and not surprisingly, the frequent, if not obsessive, use of smartphones is now a common source of tension between parents and their kids. Dan Rodricks, baltimoresun.com, "Teens and smartphones: Should parents worry?," 31 Jan. 2018 White House advisers have counseled the president that the matter should be left to the Justice Department, The Wall Street Journal reported. Courtney Mcbride, WSJ, "Pompeo Calls for China to Release Canadians," 14 Dec. 2018 In Season 4, when Ian has a flashback about his assault that triggers a panic attack, it’s Jamie who counsels him. Wendy Naugle, Glamour, "What Outlander Finally Gets Right About Rape This Season," 7 Jan. 2019 Between Valenzuela's starts and interviews, Jarrin would counsel him on how to conduct himself on a national stage, advice for which Valenzuela is grateful. Bill Plaschke, latimes.com, "Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin is a Los Angeles legend," 25 Mar. 2018 But, as all expecting couples should, Markle and Prince Harry reportedly got medical advice prior to their trip and whoever counseled them presumably gave them the go-ahead, People reports. Emily Wang, Condé Nast Traveler, "Meghan Markle Is Pregnant (And Not Changing Her Royal Tour for Zika)," 15 Oct. 2018 Instead of self-medicating with alcohol, Bingham sought the help of a therapist, who counseled her on how to work through the issues with her husband. Devin Tomb, Good Housekeeping, "“At 54, I Don’t Feel As Hopeful”: The Untold Story of Suicide in the U.S.," 21 Sep. 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 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

9 Feb 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 \

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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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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