\ 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 More:'Anonymous' author warns that Trump 'will not exit quietly,' even if defeated or impeached 2. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "5 books not to miss: 'Anonymous' Trump book, 'A Warning;' 'The Confession Club;' 'Strange Planet'," 19 Nov. 2019 Officers surrounded the university and warned that anyone choosing to remain in the area could be charged with rioting. Time Staff, Time, "Hong Kong Police Storm University Campus Occupied by Protesters as Courts Overturn Mask Ban," 18 Nov. 2019 The weather service warned Saturday of intermittent white-out conditions on the Glenn Highway, and Anchorage Police issued an online alert about icy roads Sunday morning. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "First a record-high temp, then record-breaking snowfall hit Anchorage Saturday," 18 Nov. 2019 The hearing started as the threat of new outages loomed: PG&E warned a new round of shut-offs affecting around 800,000 people was likely for Wednesday. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "State lawmakers lambaste PG&E during hearing on mass blackouts," 18 Nov. 2019 Without warning someone had cut down the trees, and without the trees, the herd could not survive a bad winter. Juliana Hanle, Scientific American, "The Fight for the Reindeer," 18 Nov. 2019 Tesla has promised to deliver hands-free driving for years, but responded to high-profile crashes by warning drivers to always have a hand on the steering wheel. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Why the Mustang Mach-E reveal felt like a preview of 'Ford v Tesla'," 18 Nov. 2019 But, DeHaan warned, enjoy it while is lasts, because trade war resolutions certainly would lead to pricier fuel options. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Fuel prices falling again as holidays approach," 18 Nov. 2019 In an ideal world, no parent would ever have to think about watching their kid for warning signs of suicide. Anna Borges, SELF, "9 Things All Parents Should Know About Teens and Suicide," 15 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

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Warn.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warned. Accessed 22 November 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

Comments on warn

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not agreeing with established beliefs

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