- to give notice, advice, or intimation to (a person, group, etc.) of danger, impending evil, possible harm, or anything else unfavorable: They warned him of a plot against him. She was warned that her life was in danger.
- to urge or advise to be careful; caution: to warn a careless driver.
- to admonish or exhort, as to action or conduct: She warned her employees to be on time.
- to notify, advise, or inform: to warn a person of an intended visit.
- to give notice to (a person, group, etc.) to go, keep at a distance, etc. (often followed by away, off, etc.): A sign warns trespassers off the grounds. A marker warned boats away from the dock.
- to give authoritative or formal notice to (someone); order; summon: to warn a person to appear in court.
- to give a warning; caution: to warn of further disasters.
Origin of warn
SynonymsSee more synonyms for warn on Thesaurus.com
- to notify or make (someone) aware of danger, harm, etc
- (tr; often takes a negative and an infinitive) to advise or admonish (someone) as to action, conduct, etcI warn you not to do that again
- (takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to inform (someone) in advancehe warned them that he would arrive late
- (tr; usually foll by away, off, etc) to give notice to go away, be off, etche warned the trespassers off his ground
Word Origin and History for prewarning
Old English warnian "to give notice of impending danger," also intransitive, "to take heed," from West Germanic *warnojanan (cf. Old Norse varna "to admonish," Old High German warnon "to take heed," German warnen "to warn"); related to Old English wær "aware, cautious" (see wary). Related: Warned; warning.