noun, plural counsel for 3.
advice; opinion or instruction given in directing the judgment or conduct of another.
interchange of opinions as to future procedure; consultation; deliberation.
Law. (used with a singular or plural verb) the advocate or advocates engaged in the direction of a cause in court; a legal adviser or counselor: Is counsel for the defense present?
deliberate purpose; plan; design.
Theology. one of the advisory declarations of Christ, considered by some Christians as not universally binding but as given for aid in attaining moral perfection.
Archaic. a private or secret opinion or purpose.
Obsolete. wisdom; prudence.
verb (used with object), counseled, counseling or (especially British) counselled, counselling.
to give advice to; advise.
to urge the adoption of, as a course of action; recommend (a plan, policy, etc.): He counseled patience during the crisis.
verb (used without object), counseled, counseling or (especially British) counselled, counselling.
to give counsel or advice.
to get or take counsel or advice.
keep one's own counsel, to conceal one's ideas or opinions; keep silent.
take counsel, to ask for or exchange advice, ideas, or opinions; deliberate; consult.

1175–1225; (noun) Middle English counseil < Anglo-French cunseil, Old French conseil < Latin consilium debate, advice, advisory body, plan, equivalent to consil-, variant stem of consulere to apply for advice (see consult) + -ium -ium; (v.) < Anglo-French cunseiler (Old French conseillier) < Late Latin consiliāre, derivative of consilium

counselable; especially British, counsellable, adjective
precounsel, noun, verb, precounseled, precounseling or (especially British) precounselled, precounselling.
recounsel, verb (used with object), recounseled, recounseling or (especially British) recounselled, recounselling.
uncounseled, adjective
uncounselled, adjective
well-counseled, adjective
well-counselled, adjective

1. attorney, counsel, counselor, lawyer, litigator ; 2. consul, council, counsel (see usage note at council).

1. recommendation, suggestion. See advice. 3. lawyer, attorney; solicitor, barrister.

See council. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
counsel (ˈkaʊnsəl)
1.  advice or guidance on conduct, behaviour, etc
2.  discussion, esp on future procedure; consultation: to take counsel with a friend
3.  a person whose advice or guidance is or has been sought
4.  a barrister or group of barristers engaged in conducting cases in court and advising on legal matters: counsel for the prosecution
5.  a policy or plan
6.  Christianity any of the counsels of perfection or evangelical counsels, namely poverty, chastity, and obedience
7.  counsel of perfection excellent but unrealizable advice
8.  private opinions or plans (esp in the phrase keep one's own counsel)
9.  archaic wisdom; prudence
vb , -sels, -selling, -selled, -sels, -seling, -seled
10.  (tr) to give advice or guidance to
11.  (tr; often takes a clause as object) to recommend the acceptance of (a plan, idea, etc); urge
12.  archaic (intr) to take counsel; consult
[C13: from Old French counseil, from Latin consilium deliberating body; related to consul, consult]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., from O.Fr. counseil, from L. consilium "plan, opinion" (see consultation). As a synonym for "lawyer," first attested late 14c. Counseling "giving professional advice on social or psychological problems" dates from 1940.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see keep one's own counsel.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
More worrisome, they have been denied access to legal counsel and face trial
  proceedings sealed to the public.
Should you be charged, you will have the right to counsel, but at this time you
  have no such right per se.
He meets with his ministers and generals, solicits their opinions, and keeps
  his own counsel.
Disease is the common enemy of mankind, and only through joint counsel and
  action can it be successfully fought.
Idioms & Phrases
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