Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To reprove gently but earnestly.
  • transitive v. To counsel (another) against something to be avoided; caution.
  • transitive v. To remind of something forgotten or disregarded, as an obligation or a responsibility.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To warn or notify of a fault; to reprove gently or kindly, but seriously; to exhort.
  • v. To counsel against wrong practices; to caution or advise; to warn against danger or an offense; — followed by of, against, or a subordinate clause.
  • v. To instruct or direct; to inform; to notify.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To warn or notify of a fault; to reprove gently or kindly, but seriously; to exhort.
  • transitive v. To counsel against wrong practices; to cation or advise; to warn against danger or an offense; -- followed by of, against, or a subordinate clause.
  • transitive v. To instruct or direct; to inform; to notify.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To notify of or reprove for a fault; reprove with mildness.
  • To counsel against something; caution or advise; exhort; warn.
  • To instruct or direct; guide.
  • To inform; acquaint with; notify; remind; recall or incite to duty.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take to task
  • v. admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior
  • v. warn strongly; put on guard

Etymologies

Middle English amonishen, admonishen, alteration of amonesten, from Old French amonester, admonester, from Vulgar Latin *admonestāre, from Latin admonēre : ad-, ad- + monēre, to warn; see men-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English admonesten or admonissen, from Old French amonester (modern French admonester), from an unattested Late Latin or Vulgar Latin *admonesstrāre, from Latin admoneō ("remind, warn"), from ad + moneō ("warn, advise"). See premonition. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Merriam-Webster editor at large Peter Sokolowski says news stories about a member of Congress who shouted "You lie!" at the President sent the word admonish to the top of the list of frequently looked-up words in the online dictionary.

    KansasCity.com: Front Page

  • Staring at the nude female sunbather fifteen floors below, her tattooed backside exposed so that everyone in the surrounding high-rises could admire or cajole or admonish from the windows next to their cubicles, office workers on every floor calling friends or documenting the view with cell-phone cameras, I realized that no matter how holy or removed from the everyday we might be, we are all rubberneckers to the mundane absurdities that materialize seemingly out of nowhere.

    July 2004

  • In another "consensually-made recording," Andrew Russo was said to "admonish" Anthony Russo for taking part in a sitdown with the Gambino family over the stabbing of a Colombo associate.

    Jerry Capeci: Nephew of Top Mobster Aids in Colombo Family Takedown

  • [Footnote 2: So called by Ericsson because it would "admonish" the South, and also suggest to England "doubts as to the propriety of completing four steel-clad ships at three and one-half millions apiece."]

    A History of Sea Power

  • Mike Kiley wrote: I am giving my expert opinion as a doctorally trained political scientist; I do not need to give you a link. bagzzaf wrote: No I don't "admonish" those on the right for using the word communist, and I do not have to show that I've done it in the past to discuss AM760's assertion.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • John Maynard bagzzaf wrote: No I don't "admonish" those on the right for using the word communist, and I do not have to show that I've done it in the past to discuss AM760's assertion.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • No I don't "admonish" those on the right for using the word communist, and I do not have to show that I've done it in the past to discuss AM760's assertion.

    Denver Post: News: Breaking: Local

  • Depending on which dictionary you trust, either "admonish" (Merriam-Webster) or "unfriend" (New Oxford American) was anointed 2009's word of the year.

    CBS 4 - South Florida's Source for Breaking News, Weather, and Sports

  • The word, "admonish," generated enough curiosity to crown it Meriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2009.

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  • Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "admonish," maybe because people didn't know what that meant after Rep. Joe Wilson's "you lie" moment.

    Gothamist

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