warn Definition

to tell someone that something bad or unpleasant may happen in the future, so that they can be ready or avoid it.

Using warn: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "warn" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    I warned him about the icy roads.

  • Example

    The teacher warned the students not to cheat on the exam.

  • Example

    The weather forecast warned of a possible hurricane.

  • Example

    The doctor warned her patient about the side effects of the medication.

warn Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for warn

Idioms Using warn

  • a word to the wise is enough

    a brief warning or explanation is enough for an intelligent person


    A: I think I'll try to cheat on the exam. B: A word to the wise is enough: don't do it.

  • used to tell someone that they should be careful or cautious about something


    Be warned: the trail can be dangerous in rainy weather.

  • someone or something that is used to warn others of danger or trouble


    The recent stock market crash was a canary in a coal mine for the economy.

Phrases with warn

  • to try to make someone go away by telling them that you will harm them if they do not


    The guard dog warned off any intruders.

  • to advise someone not to do something because it may be dangerous or have negative consequences


    The government warns against traveling to countries with high levels of crime.

  • warn up

    to prepare for an activity by doing some warm-up exercises


    The coach warned up the team before the game.

Origins of warn

from Old English 'warnian', meaning 'to take heed of'


Summary: warn in Brief

The verb 'warn' [wɔːn] means to inform someone about a potential danger or unpleasant situation so that they can prepare or avoid it. It can be used in various contexts, such as warning someone about icy roads or side effects of medication. 'Warn' can also be used in phrases like 'warn off,' meaning to scare someone away, and 'warn against,' meaning to advise against doing something. Idioms like 'a word to the wise is enough' and 'be warned' further emphasize the importance of caution.

How do native speakers use this expression?