\ 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 Last week, the agency sent warning letters to 15 companies the agency says were violating federal law by marketing the products to treat diseases or for use as dietary supplements. chicagotribune.com, "’Tis the season to buy CBD products - thanks to Congress," 2 Dec. 2019 The threat of foreign interference persists, of course, and government officials continue to warn the public to be on the lookout for meddlesome disinformation campaigns and other attempts at subterfuge by the likes of Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran. Fortune Staff, Fortune, "2020 Crystal Ball: Predictions for the Economy, Politics, Technology, and More," 2 Dec. 2019 One of the most popular items on people’s Christmas lists could potentially allow hackers access to homes, the FBI is warning. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "FBI issues warning about smart TVs," 2 Dec. 2019 Oakley said that when the DEA warned local pharmacies about Temponeras’ prescribing practices, many refused to fill her prescriptions. John Caniglia, cleveland, "The end of an era: Pill mills are gone at Ohio’s opioid epicenter, but crisis continues," 1 Dec. 2019 When Mooney and his wife needed to be reapproved to provide foster care, Daeschner signed off on the certification in March 2010 despite warning signs, the suit alleged. oregonlive, "Foster care supervisor who drew criticism, lawsuits continues long career at DHS after internal investigation," 30 Nov. 2019 Weird lights were going on and off, warning lights. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "$70K Aviator up for a top automotive honor — but some buyers have horror stories," 27 Nov. 2019 The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t allow piracetam to be sold as a dietary supplement and has issued warning letters in the past to other companies marketing supplements that contain it. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Some brain-boosting supplements contain an unapproved drug that could harm users, study warns," 25 Nov. 2019 To warn drivers of the crosswalks ahead of them, flashing yellow lights are now suspended from overhead beams. David Lyons, sun-sentinel.com, "There’s hope for the traffic gridlock at Fort Lauderdale’s airport," 23 Nov. 2019

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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Warn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warn?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=w&file=warn0001. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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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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