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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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

In May 2017, Robert Mueller was named special counsel of a Russia investigation. Emily Bloch, Teen Vogue, "The Russia Investigation Is Almost Over. Here's What You Need to Know," 8 Dec. 2018 Last week, Rudy Giuliani, one of President Trump’s lawyers, tweeted an attack on Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia investigation, accusing the special counsel of timing his filing just as the president was leaving the country. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Rudy Giuliani accuses Twitter of bias for hyperlinking text," 5 Dec. 2018 Page is a former lawyer with the FBI who worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and special counsel's Russia probe, and whose text message exchanges with the FBI's Peter Strzok about then-candidate Donald Trump drew national attention. CBS News, "Lisa Page to testify behind closed doors," 13 July 2018 That might not have been predictable from Kavanaugh’s work as one of the main authors of independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s 1998 report calling for the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Bob Egelko, SFChronicle.com, "Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: Rulings favor more power to the president," 11 July 2018 The Yale graduate worked under Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who led the investigation against President Bill Clinton. refinery29.com, "Meet Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's Supreme Court Nominee," 10 July 2018 In that capacity, Whitaker assumes control of the Russia investigation, raising questions about the future of the inquiry led by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Trump’s first post-midterms move: Dump Attorney General Jeff Sessions," 8 Nov. 2018 The Justice Department is expected to announce the latest move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post, "Mueller indicts 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly conspiring to hack 2016 U.S. presidential election," 13 July 2018 His nonfeasance included not filing critical pleadings, not attending hearings, not forwarding files to successor counsel, not refunding unearned fees and not responding to client inquiries. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee lawyer disbarred on 38 counts of misconduct," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The 69-year-old political consultant, who earned millions for counseling Ukrainian politicians and has advised several Republican U.S. presidents over recent decades, took a steep and swift fall in the past year. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Mueller Team Told to Explain Manafort Allegations Next Week," 30 Nov. 2018 In addition to professional treatments, your dentist can counsel you on at-home fluoride options, like a special mouthwash, Augusto Robles, D.D.S., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, tells SELF. Korin Miller, SELF, "Is It Actually Possible to Get Rid of Cavities Without Fillings?," 17 Oct. 2018 In the past months, Trump has been counseled by some friends that structuring the White House in a similar fashion might suit his style better than tasking all oversight to a single chief of staff. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Kelly cedes control to new faces amid latest Trump tumult," 11 Apr. 2018 Psychologists had counseled that the boys after their rescue in July should be given a six-month respite from being pressed to recount their experience for the sake of their mental health. Fox News, "Thai cave story moves to Bangkok mall with boys taking stage," 6 Sep. 2018 The lawsuit also said Ajaj went months without being visited by an imam, a term for an Islamic religious leader, contracted to counsel prisoners at the Colorado facility. Kathleen Foody, The Seattle Times, "1993 World Trade Center bomber sues over prison faith rights," 28 Aug. 2018 Accolade says its health assistants are not there to counsel against expensive health-care procedures but to help those sick get well — as quickly and affordably as possible. Bob Fernandez, Philly.com, "Accolade, with 500 employees in Plymouth Meeting, seeks to boldly cut health costs for big companies," 12 July 2018 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

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

14 Dec 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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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

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