counsel

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English counseil, conseil, from Old French conseil, from Latin cōnsilium; akin to cōnsulō (take counsel, consult).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

counsel (countable and uncountable, plural counsels)

  1. The exchange of opinions and advice especially in legal issues; consultation.
  2. Exercise of judgment; prudence.
    • 1594, Richard Hooker, Of the Lawes of Ecclesiastical Politie
      They all confess, therefore, in the working of that first cause, that counsel is used.
  3. Advice; guidance.
  4. Deliberate purpose; design; intent; scheme; plan.
  5. (obsolete) A secret opinion or purpose; a private matter.
  6. A lawyer, as in Queen's Counsel (QC).

Usage notes[edit]

In the sense 'lawyer', the plural is usually unchanged counsel.

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Verb[edit]

counsel (third-person singular simple present counsels, present participle counselling or counseling, simple past and past participle counselled or counseled)

  1. (transitive) To give advice, especially professional advice, to (somebody).
    The lawyer counselled his client to remain silent.
    Psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals counsel clients.
  2. (transitive) To recommend (a course of action).
    I would counsel prudence in this matter.

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