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 counselling (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

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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 California Democrat made his case by comparing Prince's answers to the committee to what was written in special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "DOJ reviewing criminal referral from Adam Schiff against Erik Prince," 5 Feb. 2020 In the Clinton impeachment, the independent counsel concluded that President Clinton committed not one, but two crimes. Sabrina Eaton, cleveland, "Ohio’s Sen. Sherrod Brown votes to convict Trump; Sen Rob Portman votes to acquit: watch and read their statements," 5 Feb. 2020 But in the past year, Trump has emerged unscathed from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into 2016 election interference and a nearly five-month impeachment inquiry. Paul Kane, BostonGlobe.com, "Democrats at a crossroads after Trump’s acquittal, torn between investigations and sole focus on policy," 5 Feb. 2020 Following the training, the outlet says the general counsel of Prada will report back to the commission on the employee’s compliance. Sara Radin, refinery29.com, "New York City Government Is Getting Involved With The Fashion Industry’s Race Problem," 5 Feb. 2020 The former New York mayor, who has insisted his activities in Ukraine violated no laws and were done in service of defending the president amid the special counsel probe, did not respond to requests for comment. NBC News, "Law firm representing Rudy Giuliani beset by sordid allegations, partner exodus," 2 Feb. 2020 Even though Mueller’s team accumulated evidence that clearly indicated that Trump tried to obstruct justice, the special counsel refused to say that the President had committed a crime. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Inevitable Acquittal and the Threat to American Democracy," 1 Feb. 2020 Starr, the former independent counsel who pushed for President Bill Clinton's impeachment, is now one of President Trump's impeachment defense lawyers. TheWeek, "MSNBC's Ari Melber: 'We just watched Ken Starr punch himself in the face'," 28 Jan. 2020 As a result, several cases are currently pending, including a legal challenge brought by the House Judiciary Committee to compel the testimony of Don McGahn, Trump’s former White House counsel. Barbara L. Mcquade, The Conversation, "After the trial’s over, President Trump’s impeachment battles could determine who holds real power in the US government," 27 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yet even as the threat of human-to-human transmission grows, the country’s health officials have counseled against undue concern. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "Quieter Response to Coronavirus in Countries Where China Holds Sway," 2 Feb. 2020 Republicans quietly counseled that Collins could go no further without inciting a rebellion from the party's Trump-loving base - perhaps even a primary challenge. Author: Griff Witte, Anchorage Daily News, "Republican Sen. Susan Collins finds it’s lonely in the middle," 2 Feb. 2020 Many companies have also counseled employees to avoid trips to China. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Virus spread prompts United Airlines to cut back on flights to China," 28 Jan. 2020 Before heading into the trial, McConnell counseled Republicans to continue to listen to the defense before deciding whether to call witnesses. Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner, "New John Bolton claim ramps up pressure on GOP to call witnesses," 27 Jan. 2020 In addition to monthly visits, the mothers are counseled on ways to bond with their daughters, including how to talk openly about what led to their imprisonment. Dan Levin, New York Times, "As More Mothers Fill Prisons, Children Suffer ‘A Primal Wound’," 28 Dec. 2019 Privately, Trump is more eager to announce a finished agreement and is being counseled by his trade advisors to lower his expectations, according to a senior administration official who requested anonymity to describe internal deliberations. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, "Trump says China isn’t “stepping up,” and trade talks show signs of languishing," 20 Nov. 2019 No charges were filed against Servello, but he was counseled for bad judgment and excessive drinking. NBC News, "In surprise move, admiral tapped to lead U.S. Navy declines job, retires instead," 8 July 2019 Social-media platforms might consider directing known self-cyber-bullies to counselling services. The Economist, "The bully in the black mirror Why more young Americans are cyber-bullying themselves," 11 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for counsel

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for counsel

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counseled. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for counsel

counsel

noun
How to pronounce counsel (audio)

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
How to pronounce counsel (audio)

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
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling\ -​s(ə-​)liŋ How to pronounce counselling (audio) \

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 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
counseled or counselled; counseling or counselling

Legal Definition of counsel (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for counsel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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