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Webster 1913 Edition


Warn

Warn

(wa̤rn)
,
Verb.
T.
[OE.
wernen
, AS.
weornan
,
wyrnan
. Cf.
Warn
to admonish.]
To refuse.
[Written also
wern
,
worn
.]
[Obs.]
Chaucer.

Warn

,
Verb.
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
,
werna
, Icel.
varna
to refuse; and probably to E.
wary
. [GREEK][GREEK][GREEK][GREEK].]
1.
To make ware or aware; to give previous information to; to give notice to; to notify; to admonish; hence, to notify or summon by authority;
as, to
warn
a town meeting; to
warn
a tenant to quit a house.
Warned of the ensuing fight.”
Dryden.
Cornelius the centurion . . . was
warned
from God by an holy angel to send for thee.
Acts x. 22.
Who is it that hath
warned
us to the walls?
Shakespeare
2.
To give notice to, of approaching or probable danger or evil; to caution against anything that may prove injurious.
“Juturna warns the Daunian chief of Lausus’ danger, urging swift relief.”
Dryden.
3.
To ward off.
[Obs.]
Spenser.

Webster 1828 Edition


Warn

WARN

,
Verb.
T.
[G.]
1.
To give notice of approaching or probable danger or evil, that it may be avoided; to caution against any thing that may prove injurious.
Juturna warns the Daunian chief of Lausus danger-- being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. Matthew 2.
2.
To caution against evil practices. 1 Thessalonians 5.
3.
To admonish of any duty.
Cornelius--was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee. Acts 10.
4.
To inform previously; to give notice to.
--Warnd of th ensuing fight.
5.
To notify by authority; to summon; as, to warn the citizens to meet on a certain day; to warn soldiers to appear on parade.
6.
To ward off. [Not in use.]

Definition 2022


warn

warn

English

Pronunciation

Verb

warn (third-person singular simple present warns, present participle warning, simple past and past participle warned)

  1. (transitive) To make (someone) aware of impending danger etc. [from 11th c.]
    We waved a flag to warn the oncoming traffic.
  2. (transitive) To caution (someone) against unwise or unacceptable behaviour. [from 11th c.]
    He was warned against crossing the railway tracks at night.
    Don't let me catch you running in the corridor again, I warn you.
  3. (transitive) To notify (someone) of something untoward. [from 13th c.]
    I phoned to warn him of the rail strike.
  4. (intransitive) To give warning.
    • 1526, William Tyndale, tr. Bible, Galatians II, 9-10:
      then Iames Cephas and Iohn [...] agreed with vs that we shuld preache amonge the Hethen and they amonge the Iewes: warnynge only that we shulde remember the poore.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, Penguin 1995, p. 177:
      She is his deepest innocence in spaces of bough and hay before wishes were given a different name to warn that they might not come true [...].
    • 1988, Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses, Picador 2000, p. 496:
      She warned that he was seriously thinking of withdrawing his offer to part the waters, ‘so that all you'll get at the Arabian Sea is a saltwater bath [...]’.
    • 1991, Clive James, ‘Making Programmes the World Wants’, The Dreaming Swimmer, Jonathan Cape 1992:
      Every country has its resident experts who warn that imported television will destroy the national consciousness and replace it with Dallas, The Waltons, Star Trek and Twin Peaks.
Translations
Usage notes
  • The intransitive sense is considered colloquial by some, and is explicitly proscribed by, for example, the Daily Telegraph style guide (which prefers give warning).
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Middle English wernen, from a combination of Old English wyrnan, wiernan (from Proto-Germanic *warnijaną; compare Danish værne) and Old English wearnian (from Proto-Germanic *warnōną; compare Swedish varna).

Verb

warn (third-person singular simple present warns, present participle warning, simple past and past participle warned)

  1. (obsolete) To refuse, deny (someone something).
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter xj, in Le Morte Darthur, book XVI:
      And yf thou warne her loue she shalle goo dye anone yf thou haue no pyte on her / that sygnefyeth the grete byrd / the whiche shalle make the to warne her

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