\ˈwȯrn \
warned; warning; warns

Definition of warn 

transitive verb

1a : to give notice to beforehand especially of danger or evil

b : to give admonishing advice to : counsel

c : to call to one's attention : inform

2 : to order to go or stay away often used with off

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Other Words from warn

warner noun

Examples of warn in a Sentence

I had been warned about the difficulties of the job. She warned me that the stove was still hot. “This won't be easy,” he warned. Nobody warned me about the dangers. I warned him to be careful, but he didn't listen to me. She warned us not to go too close to the fire.
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Recent Examples on the Web

At a dinner during the summit, when most leaders warned of the threat from Russia, leaders from Bulgaria and the Czech Republic called for more openness, according to a NATO official present. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Trump Fuels Anxiety in Europe Over Security," 13 July 2018 Here the words, in Latin, ask God to have mercy, warn of God’s anger, speak of the grief that will attend the Last Judgment: Who can choreograph that? Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: At BalletX, a New Work Alive With Suspense and Surrealism," 13 July 2018 If Rosa Parks showed the potential of defiance, [some historians] say, Emmett Till’s death warned of a bleak future without it. Gabby Raymond, Time, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation of Emmett Till's Murder. Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Case," 12 July 2018 Before his confirmation, Mattis warned of Russia's intent to break the Atlantic alliance and use subterfuge to expand its influence in the West. Missy Ryan, Greg Jaffe, Anchorage Daily News, "At summit, Mattis faces uphill battle," 10 July 2018 The island's meteorological service said weather conditions would start deteriorating Saturday night and warned of six to 12 inches of rain. Danica Coto, Fox News, "Hurricane Beryl heads for late weekend entry into Caribbean," 7 July 2018 Mr Macron warned of growing ties between jihadist groups in the Sahel and Boko Haram. The Economist, "Emmanuel Macron pays tribute to Fela Kuti, a Nigerian musician," 5 July 2018 Buzz60 On Sunday, notorious internet conspiracy theorist Alex Jones warned of a second Civil War starting on July 4. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "#SecondCivilWarLetters is trending on Twitter in a pretty hilarious way," 3 July 2018 Several individual automakers, including Toyota and General Motors, warned of potential job losses in the industry. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Trump tariffs could add $5,000 to price of new vehicle in U.S.," 3 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warn.' 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 warn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for warn

Middle English warnen, going back to Old English wearnian, warnian "to be on one's guard, make aware, put on one's guard," going back to West Germanic *warnōjan- (whence Middle Dutch waernen "to provide with, give notice of a danger," Old High German warnōn), probably causative derivative of Germanic *wara- "cognizant, watchful" — more at ware entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near warn


warm water





Warner Robins

Statistics for warn

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for warn

The first known use of warn was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for warn



English Language Learners Definition of warn

: to tell (someone) about possible danger or trouble

: to tell (someone) to do or not to do something in order to avoid danger or trouble


\ˈwȯrn \
warned; warning

Kids Definition of warn

1 : to put on guard : caution

2 : to notify especially in advance I warned you I might not stay long.

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Comments on warn

What made you want to look up warn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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