- 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
Examples from the Web for warn
In the United States, people used to warn against taking wooden nickels.Recession? Devaluation? Inflation? Putin Tells Russia Stay the Course.
December 4, 2014
I speak here to warn people that the facts presented in the opera are incomplete and distorted.Rudy Giuliani: Why I Protested ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’
October 20, 2014
You said that shutting down a newspaper is not the right way to warn those who may have infringed on the law.Iran Journalists to Rouhani: Stop Lying!
October 3, 2014
I mean he did choose to warn him instead of have him killed.‘The Good Wife’ Star Mike Colter Defends Lemond Bishop’s Killer Instincts
September 29, 2014
Nor did he warn the hospital that the book is being published this week.Inside a Hospital for the Criminally Insane
September 15, 2014
But there was nothing to warn me; he never spoke of love; I never thought of it.The Bacillus of Beauty
What is to be said about neglecting to warn or assist others?An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism
And Molly Abrahamson used to warn him to keep out of her father's way.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
Yet, I warn you, appearances are deceitful; he is always drunker than he looks.In the Valley
"And we thank you much for coming to warn us," murmured Margaret.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
- 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 warn
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.