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

adjuration, 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

The indictments were announced Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as part of the ongoing special counsel probe into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. CBS News, "Trump responds to Russian hacking indictment by blaming Obama administration," 14 July 2018 The president also blamed the special counsel’s probe into Russian meddling for harming U.S.-Russian relations. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "Russian indictments come days before Trump's first summit with Putin," 13 July 2018 The indictments of 12 Russians are the latest result ofspecial counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of interference in the presidential election. Anthony Man, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Notable Florida tentacles in latest Mueller indictments over Russian hacking of Democrats," 13 July 2018 Kavanaugh's views about investigations of a sitting president have drawn renewed attention with his nomination, given the special counsel probe into Trump. NBC News, "Who is Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh?," 10 July 2018 Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office were having none of it. Adam K. Raymond, Daily Intelligencer, "Manafort Kept in Solitary 23 Hours a Day to ‘Guarantee His Safety,’ Lawyer Says," 6 July 2018 Kavanaugh worked in the White House counsel’s office for Bush and later served as his staff secretary. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett are leading candidates for Supreme Court seat," 28 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But according to one former and one current administration official, Whitaker was simultaneously counseling the White House on how the president and his aides might successfully pressure Sessions and Rosenstein to give in to Trump’s demands. Murray Waas, Vox, "Exclusive: Trump loyalist Matthew Whitaker was counseling the White House on investigating Clinton," 9 Nov. 2018 During his 30 years in clinical practice as a psychologist, Dr. Haldeman has counseled hundreds of individuals who underwent conversion therapy. Chelsea Greenwood Lassman, Teen Vogue, "How Gay Conversion Therapy Came to Be, and How It Persists Today," 7 Aug. 2018 An even more incendiary interview surfaced online in March, in which Patterson can be heard boasting about having counseled an abused woman, who showed up to church with two black eyes, to submit to domestic violence as her wifely duty. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "ChurchToo and Mike Pence’s Crisis of Faith," 21 June 2018 Other top executives to depart include Gary Ginsberg, an executive vice president of corporate marketing who joined after counseling Rupert Murdoch for many years at News Corporation. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Time Warner is now Warner Media, and a lot of executives are leaving," 15 June 2018 The role of counselors Tempe's crisis response team, CARE 7, has a representative in every Tempe high school to help identify those in need and provide services, from counseling to social services. Jerod Macdonald-evoy, azcentral, "Every teen suicide is a tragedy, here's what Arizona is doing to prevent more," 8 June 2018 Attorneys from the National Immigrant Justice Center are counseling lawmakers on how to support the family’s case. Nereida Moreno, chicagotribune.com, "Lawmakers, advocates rally to support Salvadoran family split apart at U.S.-Mexico border," 1 May 2018 Even the drug dealers were counseling Mike Lindell to slow down. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, "Of course the MyPillow guy has a story -- and it's wilder than you think," 8 Apr. 2018 Even the drug dealers were counseling Mike Lindell to slow down. Kyle Swenson, Washington Post, "From crack cocaine to Mar-a-Lago: The unusual journey of the MyPillow man," 6 Apr. 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

16 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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Comments on counsel

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