[ koun-suhl ]
/ ˈkaʊn səl /
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See synonyms for: counsel / counseled / counseling / counselled on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural coun·sel for 3.

verb (used with object), coun·seled, coun·sel·ing or (especially British) coun·selled, coun·sel·ling.

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.

verb (used without object), coun·seled, coun·sel·ing or (especially British) coun·selled, coun·sel·ling.

to give counsel or advice.
to get or take counsel or advice.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Idioms for counsel

    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

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English noun counseil, from Anglo-French cunseil, Old French conseil, concile from Latin consilium “debate, advice, advisory body, plan,” equivalent to consil-, variant stem of consulere “to apply for advice” + -ium noun suffix; verb from Anglo-French cunseiler, Old French conseillier, from Late Latin consiliāre, derivative of consilium; see consult,-ium
1. See advice.
See council.
consul, council, counsel (see confusables note at council)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for counsel

/ (ˈkaʊnsəl) /


verb -sels, -selling or -selled or US -sels, -seling or -seled

counsellable or US counselable, adjective
C13: from Old French counseil, from Latin consilium deliberating body; related to consul, consult
Avoid confusion with council
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

Idioms and Phrases with counsel


see keep one's own counsel.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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