• enPR: kounʹ-səl, IPA: /ˈkaʊn.səl/


  1. The exchange of opinions and advice especially in legal issues; consultation.
    • 1549 March 16, Thomas Cranmer [et al.], compilers, “The Introites, Collectes, Epistles, and Gospels to be Used at the Celebracion of the Lordes Supper & Holy Communion, throughe the Yeare: With Proper Psalmes, and Lessons for Diuers Feastes and Dayes”, in The Booke of the Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacramentes, […], London: In officina Edowardi Whitchurche […], OCLC 56485293 ↗, folio viia, recto ↗:
      Bleſſed is that man that hath not walked in the counſaile of the vngodly: nor ſtand in the waye of ſynners, and hath not ſit in the ſeate of ſkornefull.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Matthew 27:1 ↗:
      All the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, to put him to death.
  2. Exercise of judgment; prudence.
    • They all confess, therefore, in the working of that first cause, that counsel is used.
  3. Advice; guidance.
    • c. 1590–1591, William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene iii]:
      I like thy counsel; well hast thou advised.
    • 1678, John Bunyan, “The Author’s Apology for His Book ↗”, in The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], London: Printed for Nath[aniel] Ponder […], OCLC 228725984 ↗; reprinted in The Pilgrim’s Progress (The Noel Douglas Replicas), London: Noel Douglas, […], 1928, OCLC 5190338 ↗:
      This Book will make a Travailer of thee, / If by its Counſel thou wilt ruled be; / It will direct thee to the Holy Land, / If thou wilt its Directions understand: / Yea, it will make the ſloathful, active be; / The Blind alſo, delightful things to ſee.
    • 1847, Alfred Tennyson, The Princess: A Medley, London: Edward Moxon, […], OCLC 2024748 ↗, (please specify ):
      It was ill counsel had misled the girl.
  4. Deliberate purpose; design; intent; scheme; plan.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Psalms 33:11 ↗:
      The counsel of the Lord standeth forever.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Proverbs 12:5 ↗:
      The counsels of the wicked are deceit.
  5. (obsolete) A secret opinion or purpose; a private matter.
    • thilke lord […] to whom no counsel may be hid
  6. A lawyer, as in Queen's Counsel (QC).
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

counsel (counsels, present participle counselling; past and past participle counselled)

  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.
Synonyms Translations Translations

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