\ ˈwȯrn How to pronounce warn (audio) \
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 Etiquette experts warn that the post-pandemic landscape will be more confusing than ever. USA Today, 18 June 2021 Many health experts warn that, at the current rate of vaccination, Hong Kong's borders may remain closed until next year. Fortune, 17 June 2021 It was downgraded to a warning in May, but experts warn conditions are ripe for the toxins to increase. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 June 2021 Last week, a joint Senate committee concluded that U.S. intelligence officials failed to warn of potential violence at the U.S. Capitol, leaving law enforcement unprepared to contend with a violent mob that wanted to overturn the 2020 election. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 15 June 2021 The suits claim that RLX’s initial registration document failed to warn investors of the risks posed by Chinese regulators. Giacomo Tognini, Forbes, 14 June 2021 Agencies failed to warn of a potential for violence or to prepare. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 10 June 2021 As a result, China missed a chance to better control the outbreak and failed to warn other countries early. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, 18 May 2021 The jury found that punitive damages were required because Monsanto had failed to warn users about its product. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, 16 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for warn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for warn

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Warn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warn. Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce warn (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on warn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for warn

Nglish: Translation of warn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of warn for Arabic Speakers


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