or coun·sel·ling

[ koun-suh-ling ]
/ ˈkaʊn sə lɪŋ /

noun Psychology.

professional guidance in resolving personal conflicts and emotional problems.

Nearby words

  1. councilor,
  2. councilperson,
  3. councilwoman,
  4. counsel,
  5. counselee,
  6. counselling,
  7. counsellor,
  8. counselor,
  9. counselor at law,
  10. counselor-at-law

Origin of counseling


[ koun-suhl ]
/ ˈkaʊn səl /

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.

Origin of counsel

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English counseil < Anglo-French cunseil, Old French conseil < Latin consilium “debate, advice, advisory body, plan,” equivalent to consil-, variant stem of consulere “to apply for advice” (see consult) + -ium -ium; (verb) < Anglo-French cunseiler (Old French conseillier) < Late Latin consiliāre, derivative of consilium

Related forms
Can be confusedconsul council counsel (see usage note at council)

Synonym study

1. See advice.

Usage note

See council. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for counseling

British Dictionary definitions for counseling


/ (ˈkaʊnsəl) /


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

Derived Formscounsellable or US counselable, adjective

Word Origin for counsel

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

Word Origin and History for counseling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with counseling


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.