W2S3 [wo:n US wo:rn] v [I and T]
[: Old English; Origin: warnian]
1.) to tell someone that something bad or dangerous may happen, so that they can avoid it or prevent it
'Be careful, the rocks are slippery,' Alex warned.
warn sb about sth
Travellers to Africa are being warned about the danger of HIV infection.
warn (sb) of sth
Salmon farmers are warning of the severe crisis facing the industry.
warn sb (not) to do sth
I warned you not to walk home alone.
Motorists are being warned to avoid the centre of London this weekend.
warn sb (that)
We warned them that there was a bull in the field.
2.) to tell someone about something before it happens so that they are not worried or surprised by it
warn sb (that)
Warn her you're going to be back late.
warn () against [warn (sb) against sth] phr v
to advise someone not to do something because it may have dangerous or unpleasant results
Her financial adviser warned her against such a risky investment.
warn (sb) against doing sth
The police have warned tourists against leaving the main tourist centres.
warn away [warn sb<=>away] phr v
to tell someone that they should not go near something, especially because it may be dangerous
The snake's markings are intended to warn away predators.
warn sb off [warn sb<=> off] phr v
1.) to tell people that they should not go near something, especially because it might be dangerous
Some animals mark their territory to warn off rivals.
2.) especially BrE to tell someone that they should not do or use something because it might be dangerous
warn sb off doing sth
Doctors should have warned people off using the drug much earlier than they did.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • warn — [ wɔrn ] verb intransitive or transitive *** 1. ) to make someone conscious of a possible problem or danger so they will not be hurt: Police are warning all women in the area to be on their guard. warn against: Recent studies warn against… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • warn — warn, forewarn, caution can mean to let one know of ap proaching or possible danger or risk. Warn is the most comprehensive of these terms; in most of its senses it stresses a timely notification that makes possible the avoidance of a dangerous… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • warn´er — warn «wrn», transitive verb. 1. to give notice to in advance; put on guard (against danger, evil, or harm). 2. to give notice to; inform: »The whistle warned visitors that the ship was ready to sail. SYNONYM(S): appraise, notify. 3. to give… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Warn — Warn, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Warned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Warning}.] [OE. warnen, warnien, AS. warnian, wearnian, to take heed, to warn; akin to AS. wearn denial, refusal, OS. warning, wernian, to refuse, OHG. warnen, G. warnen to warn, OFries. warna …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • WARN — I verb admonish, advise, alert, apprise, caution, caution against danger, communicate to, counsel, deter, discourage, dissuade, exhort, expostulate, forebode, forewarn, give warning, herald, inform, make aware, notice, notify, portend, predict,… …   Law dictionary

  • Warn — (w[add]rn), v. t. [OE. wernen, AS. weornan, wyrnan. Cf. {Warn} to admonish.] To refuse. [Written also {wern}, {worn}.] [Obs.] Chaucer. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • warn — (v.) O.E. warnian to give notice of impending danger, also intransitive, 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 (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • warn — ► VERB 1) inform of a possible danger, problem, etc. 2) give (someone) cautionary advice about actions or conduct. 3) (warn off) order (someone) to keep away or to refrain from doing something. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • warn — verb is traditionally a transitive verb with a grammatical object corresponding to the person or people receiving the warning: She warned them of the danger / She warned them that it was unsafe. In the 20c an intransitive use with a following… …   Modern English usage

  • warn — [v] give notice of possible occurrence acquaint, address, admonish, advise, advocate, alert, apprise, caution, clue, clue in*, counsel, cry wolf*, deprecate, direct, dissuade, enjoin, exhort, fill in, forbid, forearm, forewarn, give fair warning …   New thesaurus

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