AskDefine | Define warn

Dictionary Definition



1 notify of danger, potential harm, or risk; "The director warned him that he might be fired"; "The doctor warned me about the dangers of smoking"
2 admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior; "I warned him not to go too far"; "I warn you against false assumptions"; "She warned him to be quiet" [syn: discourage, admonish, monish]
3 ask to go away; "The old man warned the children off his property"
4 notify, usually in advance; "I warned you that I would ask some difficult questions"

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English warnian



  1. to make someone aware of impending danger etc
    • We waved a flag to warn the oncoming traffic
  2. to notify someone of something untoward
    • I phoned to warn him of the rail strike
  3. to advise someone to go or stay away
    • We were warned off the military training ground


to make someone aware of impending danger
  • Czech: varovat
  • German: warnen
  • Greek: προειδοποιώ
  • Spanish: alertar, avisar
  • Swedish: varna
to notify someone of something untoward
  • Greek: προειδοποιώ
  • Swedish: varna, förvarna
to advise someone to go or stay away

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The word warn may refer to:

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

admonish, advise, alarm, alert, apprehend, apprise, arouse, ask, ask for, be imminent, blackmail, bludgeon, bode, bulldoze, call for, caution, challenge, charge, claim, clamor for, comminate, counsel, croak, cry for, cry havoc, cry out against, cry wolf, daunt, demand, denounce, direct, dissuade, encourage, enjoin, exact, exhort, expostulate, extort, fly storm warnings, forebode, forewarn, frighten, frighten off, give fair warning, give notice, give warning, guide, have a premonition, have a presentiment, impose, incite, indent, induce, inform, intimidate, issue a caveat, issue an ultimatum, kid out of, levy, look black, look threatening, lower, make a demand, menace, move, notify, order, order up, persuade, place an order, portend, preach, preapprehend, prompt, put in requisition, remonstrate, require, requisition, screw, sound the alarm, sound the tocsin, startle, talk out of, tell, threaten, tip, tip off, unpersuade, urge, utter a caveat, utter threats against, warn against
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