Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

warn

[wawrn]
See more synonyms for warn on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. 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.
  2. to urge or advise to be careful; caution: to warn a careless driver.
  3. to admonish or exhort, as to action or conduct: She warned her employees to be on time.
  4. to notify, advise, or inform: to warn a person of an intended visit.
  5. 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.
  6. to give authoritative or formal notice to (someone); order; summon: to warn a person to appear in court.
Show More
verb (used without object)
  1. to give a warning; caution: to warn of further disasters.
Show More

Origin of warn

before 1000; Middle English warnen, Old English warnian; cognate with German warnen. Cf. ware2
Related formswarn·er, nounpre·warn, verb (used with object)re·warn, verb (used with object)un·warned, adjectivewell-warned, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for warn on Thesaurus.com
1. forewarn.

Synonym study

Warn, caution, admonish imply attempting to prevent another from running into danger or getting into unpleasant or undesirable circumstances. To warn is to speak plainly and usually in strong terms: to warn him about danger and possible penalties. To caution is to advise about necessary precautions, to put one on one's guard about possibly harmful circumstances or conditions, thus emphasizing avoidance of undesirable consequences: to caution him against driving in such weather. Admonish suggests giving earnest, authoritative advice with only tacit references to danger or penalty: to admonish a person for neglecting his duties.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for warn

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples


British Dictionary definitions for warn

warn

verb
  1. to notify or make (someone) aware of danger, harm, etc
  2. (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
  3. (takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to inform (someone) in advancehe warned them that he would arrive late
  4. (tr; usually foll by away, off, etc) to give notice to go away, be off, etche warned the trespassers off his ground
Show More
Derived Formswarner, noun

Word Origin

Old English wearnian; related to Old High German warnēn, Old Norse varna to refuse
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 warn

v.

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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper