the act or utterance of one who warns or the existence, appearance, sound, etc., of a thing that warns.
something that serves to warn, give notice, or caution:
We fired a warning at the intruders.
Meteorology. an announcement from the U.S. National Weather Service alerting the public that a storm or other weather-related hazard is imminent and that immediate steps should be taken to protect lives and property.
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.
verb (used without object)
to give a warning; caution:
to warn of further disasters.
before 1000;Middle Englishwarnen,Old Englishwarnian; cognate with Germanwarnen. Cf. ware2
prewarn, verb (used with object)
rewarn, verb (used with object)
1. forewarn. 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.
O.E. warnian "to give notice of impending danger," also intrans., "to take heed," from W.Gmc. *warnojanan (cf. O.N. varna "to admonish," O.H.G. warnon "to take heed," Ger. warnen "to warn"); related to O.E. wær "aware, cautious" (see wary).