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.
- warner, noun
- pre·warn, verb (used with object)
- re·warn, verb (used with object)
- un·warned, adjective
- well-warned, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use warn in a sentence
Be warned that all that coziness might make it virtually impossible to get out of bed in the morning.Best weighted blanket: Sleep like a baby with our comfy bedding picks | PopSci Commerce Team | February 12, 2021 | Popular-Science
Although a new report by the department’s Office of Inspector General does not attribute any deaths directly to the Marshals’ policies, it does warn that agency practices “may lead to further infections.”U.S. Marshals Service’s lax covid-19 oversight of some inmates reflects a larger problem | Joe Davidson | February 12, 2021 | Washington Post
Republicans are also warning of a new precedent being set that could subject former presidents, even dead ones, to a Senate trial.Republican senators show emotion, but little evidence of changed minds | Seung Min Kim, Karoun Demirjian | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Unfortunately, although the bill's authors try to thread a tricky needle carefully, critics warn that bad-faith actors could nonetheless easily weaponize the bill as written against both platforms and other users.Proposed Sec. 230 rewrite could have wide-ranging consequences | Kate Cox | February 8, 2021 | Ars Technica
Coastal scientists warn that the structures can be just as damaging to Hawaii’s beaches as seawalls, which have contributed to the loss of about one-quarter of the beaches on Oahu, Maui and Kauai.Hawaii’s Beaches Are Disappearing. New Legislation Could Help ... if It’s Enforced. | by Sophie Cocke, Honolulu Star-Advertiser | February 7, 2021 | ProPublica
In the United States, people used to warn against taking wooden nickels.Recession? Devaluation? Inflation? Putin Tells Russia Stay the Course. | Anna Nemtsova | December 4, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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’ | Rudy Giuliani | October 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
You said that shutting down a newspaper is not the right way to warn those who may have infringed on the law.
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 | Kevin Fallon | September 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Nor did he warn the hospital that the book is being published this week.
When he met Jean on the street—rather, after, he goes around to where Orlean worked to warn her.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
"warn the men, and arrange tanks and chutes accordingly; for Harvey Cheyne is in a hurry, a hurry—hurry," sang the wires.Kipling Stories and Poems Every Child Should Know, Book II | Rudyard Kipling
For example, if it were a kicking horse, he should warn the bailee to keep away from his legs.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
Why, he sent his man down here, t'other day, to warn me to keep my hens shut up and off his property.Dorothy at Skyrie | Evelyn Raymond
The fact is, I wish to warn you against what must inevitably bring disaster both upon yourself and your family.The Doctor of Pimlico | William Le Queux
British Dictionary definitions for warn
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, etc: I warn you not to do that again
(takes a clause as object or an infinitive) to inform (someone) in advance: he warned them that he would arrive late
(tr; usually foll by away, off, etc) to give notice to go away, be off, etc: he warned the trespassers off his ground
- warner, noun
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