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 Gerald Maatman, lead counsel for the Weinstein Companies, declined comment. CBS News, "Harvey Weinstein in tentative $19 million settlement with many accusers," 1 July 2020 The company’s fireworks sales numbers are up considerably, said Michael Podolsky, associate general counsel for the company. Kaylee Remington, cleveland, "Fireworks sales in Northeast Ohio booming because of the Fourth of July weekend and coronavirus-related boredom," 1 July 2020 Dan Reinhard, formerly general counsel for Jack Entertainment, which has a casino and a racino in northeast Ohio, chaired the panel that came up with casino guidelines. Patrick Cooley, The Enquirer, "Coronavirus in Ohio: Medical experts weren’t in charge in setting reopening guidelines," 30 June 2020 The Standard of Conduct Committee is typically made up of the SBA’s general counsel, associate administrator of administration and the head of human resources. Washington Post, "SBA exempted lawmakers, federal officials from ethics rules in $660 billion loan program," 26 June 2020 Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, urged lawmakers to pass the arbitration bill as drafted. oregonlive, "Key Oregon police reform bill may contain snag," 24 June 2020 Reddit’s general counsel, Ben Lee, explained Huffman’s plans for a hate speech policy by saying the company planned to clarify its values. Eric Newcomer, Fortune, "Racism is rampant on Reddit, and its editors are in open revolt," 20 June 2020 And Jimmy’s partner/love interest/polar opposite/shadow self Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) has spent most of the series working diligently as the legal counsel for Mesa Verde, a local bank with big expansion plans. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The death and life of the lawyer show," 18 June 2020 Acting on instructions from the White House counsel’s office, Murphy and her staff refused to tell the inspector general what President Trump said in the meeting with her and Wray. Walter M. Shaub Jr., The New York Review of Books, "Ransacking the Republic," 17 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The ruling recognized the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to counsel and the Fourteenth Amendment’s provision that the government can’t deprive someone of life, liberty, or property without due process. Kathryn Joyce, The New Republic, "No Money, No Lawyer, No Justice," 22 June 2020 Anastasia Taylor, a Fort Worth therapist, uses the board game Candyland to counsel her young clients. Zayna Syed, Dallas News, "COVID-19 has forced many North Texas therapists to offer children’s play therapy online," 18 June 2020 Eminences from these companies sit on official boards that counsel the government about how to upgrade its computing prowess. Franklin Foer, The Atlantic, "Big Tech’s Pandemic Power Grab," 12 June 2020 Battani made the announcement last week in a letter to counsel in the eight-year-long lawsuit. Emma Dale, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit federal Judge Marianne O. Battani stepping back from role due to cancer," 8 June 2020 Witt is well positioned to counsel players right now: During his playing days, there were two strikes and one lockout. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "A’s Gone By: Bobby Witt, now an agent, counsels players during pandemic," 2 June 2020 Before patients are tested, doctors counsel them during a video call. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "Coronavirus antibody tests have proliferated in San Antonio. Here’s the problem.," 17 May 2020 Getting regular sleep and making sure the path from your bedroom to your kitchen is safe are common ways to manage SRED, and a doctor can counsel you on medication options like antidepressants. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "9 Types of Parasomnias That Might Explain That Weird Thing You Do When You Sleep," 5 June 2019 Because community management and prevention strategies for Covid-19 are so dependent on understanding patients in the context of their lives, primary care providers are uniquely poised to counsel and manage low-risk patients. Janice John, STAT, "Our hospital’s community management strategy for Covid-19 works. Yours can, too," 23 Apr. 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

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counsel. Accessed 13 Jul. 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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