- advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.
- interchange of opinions as to future procedure; consultation; deliberation.
- Law. (used with a singular or plural verb) the advocate or advocates engaged in the direction of a cause in court; a legal adviser or counselor: Is counsel for the defense present?
- deliberate purpose; plan; design.
- Theology. one of the advisory declarations of Christ, considered by some Christians as not universally binding but as given for aid in attaining moral perfection.
- Archaic. a private or secret opinion or purpose.
- Obsolete. wisdom; prudence.
- to give advice to; advise.
- to urge the adoption of, as a course of action; recommend (a plan, policy, etc.): He counseled patience during the crisis.
- to give counsel or advice.
- to get or take counsel or advice.
- keep one's own counsel, to conceal one's ideas or opinions; keep silent.
- take counsel, to ask for or exchange advice, ideas, or opinions; deliberate; consult.
Origin of counsel
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordstip-off, information, direction, deliberation, admonition, advice, instruction, tip, forethought, advisement, warning, caution, suggestion, recommendation, consultation, consideration, steer, kibitz, adviser, attorney
Examples from the Web for counsel
Brown sought his counsel as he prepared to start college and make a life of his own.90 Seconds of Fury in Ferguson Are the Key to Making Peace in America
November 26, 2014
She goes to church with her husband, but when the pastor asks to counsel her in private, she shuts him down.The Good Wife’s Religion Politics: Voters Have No Faith in Alicia's Atheism
November 24, 2014
At LLGS, you certainly felt proud to be able it to offer help or counsel.Sex, Suicide, and Homework: The Secret World of the Telephone Hotline
November 20, 2014
When asked about the rape allegation, Cosby—undoubtedly upon the advice of counsel—said nothing.When Your Comic Hero Is an Alleged Rapist
November 18, 2014
He was later sued by his lawyers in London for failing to pay $419,400 in counsel fees when his assets were frozen.The Mysterious Death of the Art World’s Favorite Sheikh
November 13, 2014
He was no longer in a mood to counsel fight, even though he disliked to submit.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
“We must call Kit into counsel, ere we can do that fully,” said Stephen.The Armourer's Prentices
Charlotte M. Yonge
Exclusion was to me starvation, and I eagerly adopted the counsel of my companion.
God helping me, I will not fail them, if they will but counsel and sustain me!
He was quite aware of his own ascendency in counsel and his supremacy in debate.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
- advice or guidance on conduct, behaviour, etc
- discussion, esp on future procedure; consultationto take counsel with a friend
- a person whose advice or guidance is or has been sought
- a barrister or group of barristers engaged in conducting cases in court and advising on legal matterscounsel for the prosecution
- a policy or plan
- Christianity any of the counsels of perfection or evangelical counsels, namely poverty, chastity, and obedience
- counsel of perfection excellent but unrealizable advice
- private opinions or plans (esp in the phrase keep one's own counsel)
- archaic wisdom; prudence
- (tr) to give advice or guidance to
- (tr; often takes a clause as object) to recommend the acceptance of (a plan, idea, etc); urge
- (intr) archaic to take counsel; consult
Word Origin and History for counsel
early 13c., from Old French counseil (10c.) "advice, counsel; deliberation, thought," from Latin consilium "plan, opinion" (see consultation). As a synonym for "lawyer," first attested late 14c.
late 13c., from Old French conseiller "to advise, counsel," from Latin consiliari, from consilium "plan, opinion" (see counsel (n.)). Related: Counseled. Counseling "giving professional advice on social or psychological problems" dates from 1940.
Idioms and Phrases with counsel
see keep one's own counsel.