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[ad-mon-ish] /ædˈmɒn ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to caution, advise, or counsel against something.
to reprove or scold, especially in a mild and good-willed manner:
The teacher admonished him about excessive noise.
to urge to a duty; remind:
to admonish them about their obligations.
Origin of admonish
late Middle English
1275-1325; late Middle English admonish, amonesche, admonesse, amoness, Middle English a(d)monest (with -t later taken as past participle suffix) < Anglo-French, Old French amonester < Vulgar Latin *admonestāre, apparently derivative of Latin admonēre to remind, give advice to (source of -est- uncertain), equivalent to ad- ad- + monēre to remind, warn
Related forms
admonisher, noun
admonishingly, adverb
admonishment, noun
preadmonish, verb (used with object)
unadmonished, adjective
2. rebuke, censure, upbraid.
Synonym Study
1. See warn. 2. See reprimand. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for admonishing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Sometimes Jukes would break in, admonishing hastily: "Look out, sir!"

    Typhoon Joseph Conrad
  • Eileen Pederstone looked in admonishing surprise at her father.

  • She swept an admonishing glance towards the others as she did so.

    The Bondwoman Marah Ellis Ryan
  • The admonishing domino, hitherto peaceful, now took umbrage.

  • The young mistress of the house seemed to be admonishing, instructing, someone.

    Marriage la mode Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Sterne is admonishing a young friend as to his manners in society: "You are in love," he says.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • He met their anxious, admonishing glances, unable to interpret them.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • My father in admonishing her had done it tenderly, I was sure.

  • On his side, Crozier remains cool, admonishing Cadwallader to do the same.

British Dictionary definitions for admonishing


verb (transitive)
to reprove firmly but not harshly
to advise to do or against doing something; warn; caution
Derived Forms
admonisher, admonitor, noun
admonition (ˌædməˈnɪʃən) noun
admonitory, adjective
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Vulgar Latin admonestāre (unattested), from Latin admonēre to put one in mind of, from monēre to advise
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for admonishing



mid-14c., amonesten "remind, urge, exhort, warn, give warning," from Old French amonester (12c.) "urge, encourage, warn," from Vulgar Latin *admonestare, from Latin admonere "bring to mind, remind, suggest;" also "warn, advise, urge," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + monere "advise, warn" (see monitor (n.)).

The -d- was restored on Latin model. The ending was influenced by words in -ish (e.g. astonish, abolish). Related: Admonished; admonishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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