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 But as Attorney General Sessions recused himself in the Trump-Russia investigation, paving the way for the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, he was forced out of the Justice Department over a year later. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Trump's attacks on Jeff Sessions anger immigration hawks," 28 May 2020 Ratcliffe, the Trump loyalist and congressman from Texas’ fourth district, is best known for his fiery hearings performances cross-examining witnesses like special counsel Robert Mueller and, last fall, during the impeachment proceedings. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "Trump's New Intelligence Chief Spells Trouble," 26 May 2020 Sessions recused himself soon after being confirmed by the Senate as attorney general from what became the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Paul Gattis | Pgattis@al.com, al, "Trump tweets support again for Tuberville in Alabama Senate race," 23 May 2020 By stepping down, the investigation was handed over to former special counsel Robert Mueller. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Trump and Jeff Sessions trade barbs over Twitter," 23 May 2020 In a related attempt to place loyalists in these oversight positions, Trump replaced Fine with a former White House counsel who had participated in his impeachment defense. Stanley M. Brand, The Conversation, "Congress may not like it when Trump fires an inspector general – but it can’t do anything to stop him," 22 May 2020 Ratcliffe has been a strong Trump ally and was a vocal critic of former special counsel Robert Mueller. Katie Surma, azcentral, "Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, Martha McSally split over intelligence director," 21 May 2020 WASHINGTON— The Supreme Court on Wednesday temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Mark Sherman, BostonGlobe.com, "Supreme Court blocks House from Mueller grand jury material," 20 May 2020 Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. NBC News, "Bracing for a grim April jobs report, arrests for Ahmaud Arbery's killing, charges dropped in Michael Flynn case and VE Day," 8 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 They were joined by legions of attorneys from organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union, who volunteered to counsel and represent detainees and their families on the spot. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, "The Rise of the Permanent Protest," 1 Jan. 2020 The summer’s influx of calls prompted the help line to train the California staff — about 60 counselors — on the history of the devices and how to counsel people who want to quit. Anna Almendrala, PEOPLE.com, "Teens Are Calling Help Hotlines as Vaping Illness Cases Rise," 9 Oct. 2019 Gang diversion programs such as Rodriguez’s often turn to former gang members to counsel young people who are in gangs or at risk of joining one. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "He was paid to keep kids out of gangs. Now, he’s charged in grisly MS-13 killings," 20 Aug. 2019 Trish had a job advocating for children in foster care; Bill was studying and working part-time, counseling people in addiction at a Center City church. Aubrey Whelan, Philly.com, "She helped her husband out of addiction. Now they are unlikely advocates for safe-injection sites," 8 Apr. 2018 The mothers were then counseled on strategies to help improve each of these issues. Christina Caron, New York Times, "Is Tongue-Tie Surgery Necessary for Breastfeeding Success?," 16 Apr. 2020 The staffer was immediately counseled by the home’s director of nursing and sent home. Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, "Nursing Homes Violated Basic Health Standards, Allowing the Coronavirus to Explode," 24 Apr. 2020 You and your wife can find help — and support — at the nearest LGBT center that offers couples counseling. Abigail Van Buren, Twin Cities, "Dear Abby: Transgender woman strives to preserve marriage to wife," 25 Sep. 2019

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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Counsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counsel. Accessed 2 Jun. 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

Comments on counsel

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