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 counsel (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 Maya Wiley, a former counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, like many of the candidates, sits in front of a handsome bookcase, occasionally visited by her cats. New York Times, "Zoom Fatigue on the Campaign Trail: 5 Takeaways From the Mayor’s Race," 15 Feb. 2021 Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, Star Tribune, "McConnell seeks to push Trump impeachment trial to February," 22 Jan. 2021 Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Mary Clare Jalonick, Anchorage Daily News, "House to send impeachment article against Trump to Senate on Monday," 22 Jan. 2021 Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Tim Darnell, ajc, "Second Trump impeachment trial could begin Tuesday in Senate," 22 Jan. 2021 Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. Mary Clare Jalonick And Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "McConnell proposes pushing Trump impeachment trial to February, giving defense team and House prosecutors time to prepare," 22 Jan. 2021 Bowers previously served as counsel to former South Carolina Govs. The Associated Press, NOLA.com, "House to send Trump impeachment article to Senate on Monday: 'There will be a trial'," 22 Jan. 2021 Haberman also said that Lindell was trying to meet with Pat Cipollone, counsel to the president. Lauren Booker, BostonGlobe.com, "MyPillow CEO came to the White House with papers that mention ‘martial law.’ Here’s what we know about the visit," 16 Jan. 2021 Starting Monday, long-term care facilities in the state will begin receiving vaccines, Gareth Rhodes, special counsel to the state Department of Financial Services, said during a press briefing Friday. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Covid-19 vaccine distribution ramps up for 20 million to be immunized by the start of the new year," 21 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On the one hand, Duke exercised his right to counsel, Warren said. Bill Rankin, ajc, "GA Supreme Court considers expert funding in Tara Grinstead murder case," 12 Jan. 2021 Abdelaziz's mentors, CMO and chief communications officer Amy Fuller and client account lead for North America Cathinka Wahlstrom, also helped counsel her over video chat through the departure of a much-appreciated employee. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "The Fortune-State Department Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership goes virtual," 7 Dec. 2020 Steve Ricchetti has worked for Mr. Biden longer than many others tapped to counsel the new president, said Danny O’Brien, a lobbyist with Fox Corp. and a former Biden aide. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Ricchetti Brothers Rise in D.C., One a Lobbyist, the Other in the White House," 25 Jan. 2021 In legal briefs, Duke’s lawyers said their client needs funding for the experts to protect his Constitutional right to counsel and a fair trial. Bill Rankin, ajc, "Beauty queen’s murder case back before Georgia Supreme Court," 11 Jan. 2021 For 17 years, Walker and Collister would counsel, cajole and deal tough love to anyone who needed it, any day of the week. Bruce Selcraig, ExpressNews.com, "Lost trove: TV reporter finds his father’s Beatles photos in San Antonio," 16 Jan. 2021 Everyone has a right to counsel, and every lawyer has a right to earn a buck. Alex Pareene, The New Republic, "Neal Katyal and the Depravity of Big Law," 8 Dec. 2020 During a pandemic, those social workers aren’t going into hospitals to counsel victims, Rosenfeld noted. Devlin Barrett, Anchorage Daily News, "2020 saw an unprecedented spike in U.S. homicides, from big cities to small towns," 31 Dec. 2020 But this month, Maryland's largest city became the latest U.S. jurisdiction to grant renters a right to counsel in those cases. CBS News, "Millions of U.S. renters face eviction legal battles without lawyers," 31 Dec. 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

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Counsel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/counsel. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for counsel

counsel

noun

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

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

counsel

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

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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