\ 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 Varda always tries to reply to emails when possible and warn that his address is not the right one. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "How Thousands of Misplaced Emails Took Over This Engineer's Inbox," 25 June 2020 The changes come even as U.S. health experts warn of a potential second wave of cases and citizens hold their breath. Fox News, "Dr. Amesh Adalja optimistic about US schools being 'safely opened' in fall," 24 June 2020 That torturous wait seemed a preview of November, when more states will embrace mail-in voting and officials warn that uncertainty over who is the next president could linger for days. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump-backed House candidates lose in Kentucky, N. Carolina," 24 June 2020 Sign warn of social distancing at Heathrow Airport deserted amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "A Country-by-country Guide to Europe's Reopening," 23 June 2020 As the pests begin to migrate again in the second half of June, experts warn that, without continuous aid to mitigate the spread, the devastation could leave millions of people in at least 23 countries hungry by the end of the year. NBC News, "Trump 'furious' about low Tulsa turnout, a 'heinous' NASCAR discovery, and Dems to probe SDNY drama," 21 June 2020 The rally, which Trump has said marks a restart of his struggling reelection effort, has drawn criticism from health officials who warn that gathering thousands of people indoors could spread the virus. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "6 Trump campaign staff working on pivotal Tulsa rally test positive for coronavirus - live updates," 20 June 2020 League City Mayor Pat Hallisey is questioning the timing and messaging behind a new initiative promoting local businesses just as Galveston County officials warn about an increase in COVID-19 cases. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "League City mayor: COVID-19 safety needs emphasis in initiative to support businesses," 19 June 2020 These benefits are set to expire in late July, which many economists warn could drain the economy of a vital stimulus. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, "White House divisions sow confusion about strategy on stimulus next steps," 18 June 2020

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

2 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Warn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warn. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for warn


How to pronounce warn (audio)

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on warn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for warn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with warn

Spanish Central: Translation of warn

Nglish: Translation of warn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of warn for Arabic Speakers

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