warn·​ing | \ ˈwȯr-niŋ How to pronounce warning (audio) \

Definition of warning

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act of warning : the state of being warned he had warning of his illness
2 : something that warns or serves to warn especially : a notice or bulletin that alerts the public to an imminent hazard (such as a tornado, thunderstorm, or flood)



Definition of warning (Entry 2 of 2)

: serving as an alarm, signal, summons, or admonition a warning bell a warning shot

Other Words from warning


warningly \ ˈwȯr-​niŋ-​lē How to pronounce warning (audio) \ adverb

Examples of warning in a Sentence

Noun She gave me a warning about the difficulties of the job. She issued a stern warning against making changes too quickly. Let that be a warning to you. We had no warning of the dangers that were ahead of us. Without any warning she turned around and ran. The storm struck without warning. I was stopped for speeding, but the policeman just gave me a warning. Adjective usually gave her trademark warning look when the children were getting out of hand See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The red flag warning is set to expire at 11 p.m. tonight as winds calm. Mims Copeland | Mcopeland@oregonian.com, oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2022 In the San Francisco Bay Area, an excessive-heat warning for interior bay and valley locations is in effect through Thursday. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Sep. 2022 An excessive heat warning is in effect in Los Angeles through Wednesday. Carter Evans, CBS News, 5 Sep. 2022 The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Friday for the Northern California area near Mt. Shasta where the blaze is burning, due to the hot, dry conditions. Los Angeles Times, 3 Sep. 2022 Another flash flood warning will be in effect for Choctaw County until 4:45 p.m. Wednesday. Leigh Morgan, al, 24 Aug. 2022 Another Wisconsin warning was the narrow win by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 In Spain, which had its hottest July on record, an orange warning for heat is in effect just south of Madrid - where maximum temperature could approach 104 degrees, with many other areas under yellow alerts. Matthew Cappucci, BostonGlobe.com, 9 Aug. 2022 The area is currently under a red flag warning of high fire danger, according to the National Weather Service. Amanda Musa, CNN, 1 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The bureau also will post more warning notices at 750 livestock sale facilities and review other potential changes to federal regulations. Scott Sonner, Star Tribune, 27 July 2021 In response, statistical authorities around the world could do little but issue warning press releases. Andrew Whitby, Time, 17 Apr. 2020 Privacy advocates have sounded warning bells about Big Brother secretly watching us from the sky. Katy Moeller, idahostatesman, 22 May 2017 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warning.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of warning


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


1511, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for warning


Middle English warnyng, warnynge, going back to Old English warnung, wearning, from wearnian "to warn" + -ung, -ing -ing entry 3


from attributive use of warning entry 1

Learn More About warning

Time Traveler for warning

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near warning

Warner Robins


warning coloration

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Statistics for warning

Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Warning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/warning. Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for warning


warn·​ing | \ ˈwȯr-niŋ How to pronounce warning (audio) \

Kids Definition of warning

: something that cautions of possible danger or trouble storm warnings

More from Merriam-Webster on warning

Nglish: Translation of warning for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of warning for Arabic Speakers


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