English

Definition of warn verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    warn

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//wɔːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːrn//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they warn
    BrE BrE//wɔːn//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːrn//
     
    he / she / it warns
    BrE BrE//wɔːnz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːrnz//
     
    past simple warned
    BrE BrE//wɔːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːrnd//
     
    past participle warned
    BrE BrE//wɔːnd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//wɔːrnd//
     
    -ing form warning
    BrE BrE//ˈwɔːnɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈwɔːrnɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [transitive, intransitive] to tell somebody about something, especially something dangerous or unpleasant that is likely to happen, so that they can avoid it warn somebody I tried to warn him, but he wouldn't listen. If you're thinking of getting a dog, be warned—they take a lot of time and money. warn (somebody) about/against somebody/something He warned us against pickpockets. warn (somebody) of something Police have warned of possible delays. warn (somebody) that… She was warned that if she did it again she would lose her job. warn somebody what, how, etc… I had been warned what to expect. warn (somebody) + speech ‘Beware of pickpockets,’ she warned (him). Express YourselfWarning people of dangerYou may need to tell someone that they are in danger or advise them not to do something dangerous: Look out! There's a car coming. Be careful. It can be quite dangerous on that path. Watch out. That's not a very safe place at night. Make sure you keep hold of your bag. I wouldn't do that if I were you.
  2. 2  [intransitive, transitive] to strongly advise somebody to do or not to do something in order to avoid danger or punishment synonym advise warn (somebody) against/about something The guidebook warns against walking alone at night. warn somebody (to do something) He warned Billy to keep away from his daughter. They were warned not to climb the mountain in such bad weather. ‘I’m warning you!’ said James, losing his patience.
  3. 3[transitive] warn somebody (for something) (in sport, etc.) to give somebody an official warning after they have broken a rule The referee warned him for dangerous play.
  4. Word Origin Old English war(e)nian, wearnian, from a West Germanic base meaning ‘be cautious’.Extra examples Having been duly warned that I would get nowhere with my application, I went right ahead and applied anyway. I did try to warn you. I must warn you that some of these animals are extremely dangerous. I thought I should warn her about it. My mother constantly warned me not to go into teaching. No one had warned us about the unbearable heat. She claimed doctors had failed to warn her of the risks involved. The chancellor bluntly warned the Cabinet to axe public spending or face higher taxes. The report warns of the dangers of obesity. They warned us of the risks involved. We were specifically warned against buying the house. We were warned against drinking the local water. You will get better—but be warned, it may be a long process. ‘I’m warning you!’ said James, losing his patience. I tried to warn him, but he wouldn’t listen. If you’re thinking of getting a dog, be warned —they take a lot of time and money. She warned Billy to keep away from her daughter. The commander had been warned of the attack. Phrasal Verbswarn somebody off (something)
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: warn

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