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1. The act of exchanging opinions and ideas; consultation: joined in counsel with colleagues before deciding the issue.
2. Advice or guidance, especially as solicited from a knowledgeable person. See Synonyms at advice.
3. Private, guarded thoughts or opinions: keep one's own counsel.
4. A lawyer or group of lawyers giving legal advice and especially conducting a case in court.
v. coun·seled, coun·sel·ing, coun·sels or coun·selled or coun·sel·ling
1. To give counsel to; advise: counseled us to be prudent.
2. To recommend: counseled care in the forthcoming negotiations.
To give or take advice. See Usage Note at council.

[Middle English counseil, from Old French conseil, from Latin cōnsilium; akin to cōnsulere, to take counsel, consult.]


1. advice or guidance on conduct, behaviour, etc
2. discussion, esp on future procedure; consultation: to take counsel with a friend.
3. a person whose advice or guidance is or has been sought
4. (Law) a barrister or group of barristers engaged in conducting cases in court and advising on legal matters: counsel for the prosecution.
5. a policy or plan
6. (Ecclesiastical Terms) Christianity any of the counsels of perfection or evangelical counsels, namely poverty, chastity, and obedience
7. counsel of perfection excellent but unrealizable advice
8. private opinions or plans (esp in the phrase keep one's own counsel)
9. archaic wisdom; prudence
vb, -sels, -selling or -selled, -sels, -seling or -seled
10. (tr) to give advice or guidance to
11. (tr; often takes a clause as object) to recommend the acceptance of (a plan, idea, etc); urge
12. (intr) archaic to take counsel; consult
[C13: from Old French counseil, from Latin consilium deliberating body; related to consul, consult]
ˈcounsellable, ˈcounselable adj
Usage: Avoid confusion with council


(ˈkaʊn səl)

n., pl. -sel for 3, n.
1. advice; opinion or instruction regarding the judgment or conduct of another.
2. interchange of opinions as to future procedure; consultation; deliberation.
3. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) the lawyer or lawyers representing one party or the other in court.
4. deliberate purpose; plan; design.
5. Archaic. a private or secret opinion or purpose.
6. Obs. wisdom; prudence.
7. to give advice to; advise.
8. to urge the adoption of, as a course of action; recommend.
9. to give counsel or advice.
10. to get or take counsel or advice.
keep one's own counsel, to remain silent.
[1175–1225; (n.) Middle English counseil < Anglo-French cunseil, Old French conseil < Latin consilium debate, advice, advisory body, plan]
syn: See advice.
usage: See council.


 a body of legal advisors, 1393.


1. 'council'

Council /'kaʊnsəl/ is a noun. A council is a group of people who run a local area such as a town, city, or county.

...Wiltshire County Council.

Some other groups of people who run organizations are also called Councils.

...the Arts Council.
...the British Council of Churches.
2. 'counsel'

Counsel /'kaʊnsəl/ is usually a verb. If you counsel someone, you give them advice about their problems.

Part of her work is to counsel families when problems arise.

Someone's counsel is the lawyer who gives them advice on a legal case and speaks on their behalf in court.

Singleton's counsel said after the trial that he would appeal.


Past participle: counselled
Gerund: counselling

I counsel
you counsel
he/she/it counsels
we counsel
you counsel
they counsel
I counselled
you counselled
he/she/it counselled
we counselled
you counselled
they counselled
Present Continuous
I am counselling
you are counselling
he/she/it is counselling
we are counselling
you are counselling
they are counselling
Present Perfect
I have counselled
you have counselled
he/she/it has counselled
we have counselled
you have counselled
they have counselled
Past Continuous
I was counselling
you were counselling
he/she/it was counselling
we were counselling
you were counselling
they were counselling
Past Perfect
I had counselled
you had counselled
he/she/it had counselled
we had counselled
you had counselled
they had counselled
I will counsel
you will counsel
he/she/it will counsel
we will counsel
you will counsel
they will counsel
Future Perfect
I will have counselled
you will have counselled
he/she/it will have counselled
we will have counselled
you will have counselled
they will have counselled
Future Continuous
I will be counselling
you will be counselling
he/she/it will be counselling
we will be counselling
you will be counselling
they will be counselling
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been counselling
you have been counselling
he/she/it has been counselling
we have been counselling
you have been counselling
they have been counselling
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been counselling
you will have been counselling
he/she/it will have been counselling
we will have been counselling
you will have been counselling
they will have been counselling
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been counselling
you had been counselling
he/she/it had been counselling
we had been counselling
you had been counselling
they had been counselling
I would counsel
you would counsel
he/she/it would counsel
we would counsel
you would counsel
they would counsel
Past Conditional
I would have counselled
you would have counselled
he/she/it would have counselled
we would have counselled
you would have counselled
they would have counselled


A lawyer or team of lawyers conducting a case in court or giving legal advice.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.counsel - a lawyer who pleads cases in courtcounsel - a lawyer who pleads cases in court  
law, jurisprudence - the collection of rules imposed by authority; "civilization presupposes respect for the law"; "the great problem for jurisprudence to allow freedom while enforcing order"
attorney, lawyer - a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice
2.counsel - something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of actioncounsel - something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action
road map, guideline - a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action; "the president said he had a road map for normalizing relations with Vietnam"
subject matter, content, message, substance - what a communication that is about something is about
career counseling - counseling on career opportunities
cynosure - something that provides guidance (as Polaris guides mariners); "let faith be your cynosure to walk by"
genetic counseling - guidance for prospective parents on the likelihood of genetic disorders in their future children
marriage counseling - counseling on marital problems and disagreements
confidential information, steer, tip, wind, hint, lead - an indication of potential opportunity; "he got a tip on the stock market"; "a good lead for a job"
Verb1.counsel - give advice tocounsel - give advice to; "The teacher counsels troubled students"; "The lawyer counselled me when I was accused of tax fraud"
urge, urge on, exhort, press - force or impel in an indicated direction; "I urged him to finish his studies"
dissuade, deter - turn away from by persuasion; "Negative campaigning will only dissuade people"
hash out, talk over, discuss - speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion; "We discussed our household budget"
admonish, monish, warn, discourage - admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior; "I warned him not to go too far"; "I warn you against false assumptions"; "She warned him to be quiet"
tip off, tip - give insider information or advise to; "He tipped off the police about the terrorist plot"
misadvise, misguide - give bad advice to
propound - put forward, as of an idea
consult - advise professionally; "The professor consults for industry"
contraindicate - make a treatment inadvisable


1. advice, information, warning, direction, suggestion, recommendation, caution, guidance, admonition He had always been able to count on her wise counsel.
2. legal adviser, lawyer, attorney, solicitor, advocate, barrister The defence counsel warned that the judge should stop the trial.
1. advise, recommend, advocate, prescribe, warn, urge, caution, instruct, exhort, admonish My advisors counselled me to do nothing.


1. An exchange of views in an attempt to reach a decision:
2. An opinion as to a decision or course of action:
3. A person who practices law:
Chiefly British: barrister.
4. Law. One who advises another, especially officially or professionally:
To give recommendations to (someone) about a decision or course of action:
Informal: mentor.
مُستشار قانوني، مُحامِنَصيحَـهيَنْصَحَ، يُشير على
právní zástupceradaradit
advokatjuridisk rådgiverrådråderådgive
gefa/veita ráî, ráîleggjalögmaîur, málflutningsmaîurráîgjöf
advokātsdot padomuieteikt
právny zástupca
akıl öğretmekdava vekilifikirtavsiyetavsiye etmek


A. N
1. (frm, liter) (= advice) → consejo m
to hold/take counsel (with sb) about sthconsultar or pedir consejo (a algn) sobre algo
to keep one's own counselguardar silencio
a counsel of perfectionun ideal imposible
2. (Jur) (pl inv) → abogado/a m/f
counsel for the defence (Brit) → abogado/a m/f defensor(a)
counsel for the prosecution (Brit) → fiscal mf
Queen's or King's Counsel (Brit) → abogado/a m/f del Estado
B. VT [+ person] (frm) → aconsejar (Med etc) → orientar; [+ prudence etc] → recomendar
to counsel sb to do sthaconsejar a algn que haga algo


(= advice) → conseil m
(= lawyer) → avocat(e) m/f
counsel for the defence → avocat(e) m/f de la défense
counsel for the prosecution → procureur mf
to keep one's own counsel (= remain silent) → garder ses opinions pour soi
(= give advice to) [+ person] → conseiller
to counsel sb to do sth → conseiller à qn de faire qch
(= recommend) to counsel sth → conseiller qch
to counsel against sth → déconseiller qch


(form: = advice) → Rat(schlag) m; to hold counsel with somebody over or about somethingmit jdm etw beraten or beratschlagen; to keep one’s own counselseine Meinung für sich behalten, mit seiner Meinung zurückhalten; counsels of perfectionschlaue Ratschläge
pl <-> (Jur) → Rechtsanwalt m; counsel for the defence/prosecutionVerteidiger(in) m(f)/Vertreter(in) m(f)der Anklage, ˜ Staatsanwalt m/-anwältin f; counsel on both sidesVerteidigung und Anklage
(form) personberaten; course of actionempfehlen, raten zu; to counsel somebody to do somethingjdm raten or empfehlen, etw zu tun
(in social work etc) → beraten


1. n
a. (advice) → consiglio, consultazione f
to keep one's own counsel → tenere le proprie opinioni per sé
b. pl inv (Law) → avvocato/essa
counsel for the defence/the prosecution → avvocato difensore/di parte civile
Queen's (or King's) Counsel → avvocato della Corona
2. vt to counsel sth/sb to do sthconsigliare qc/a qn di fare qc; (caution) → raccomandare qc/a qn di fare qc


(ˈkaunsəl) noun
1. advice. He'll give you good counsel on your problems.
2. a barrister or advocate. counsel for the defence.
verbpast tense, past participle ˈcounselled , (American) ˈcounseled
to advise; to recommend.
ˈcounsellor , (American) counselor noun
a person who gives advice.
References in classic literature ?
The word `Mother' suggested other maternal counsels given long ago, and received with unbelieving protests.
But neither great Washington, nor Napoleon, nor Nelson, will answer a single hail from below, however madly invoked to befriend by their counsels the distracted decks upon which they gaze; however it may be surmised, that their spirits penetrate through the thick haze of the future, and descry what shoals and what rocks must be shunned.
For her own advantage indeed, it was fit that the utmost extent of Harriet's hopes should be enquired into; and Harriet had done nothing to forfeit the regard and interest which had been so voluntarily formed and maintainedor to deserve to be slighted by the person, whose counsels had never led her right.
I have formed my plans--right plans I deem them--and in them I have attended to the claims of conscience, the counsels of reason.
Also, because of Nada, Dingaan and Umslopogaas were now at bitter enmity, and for this same cause I was disgraced and a fugitive, and my counsels would no longer be heard in the ear of the king.
If then his Providence Out of our evil seek to bring forth good, Our labour must be to pervert that end, And out of good still to find means of evil; Which oft times may succeed, so as perhaps Shall grieve him, if I fail not, and disturb His inmost counsels from their destind aim.
It may be if thou couldst speak with Bois-Guilbert in private, thou shalt the better prevail with him; for men say that these accursed Nazarenes are not of one mind in the Preceptory May their counsels be confounded and brought to shame
This would attach him to his home, and your Majesty might give him a share in your counsels, so that he might gradually learn how to wear a crown, which you can give up to him whenever you find him capable of wearing it.
Left to himself the Prince soon forgot the wise counsels of his mother, and feeling very much bored with his own company, he ordered some of the spirits of the air to carry him to the court of a neighbouring sovereign.
Sancho perceiving it his master's final resolve, and how little his tears, counsels, and entreaties prevailed with him, determined to have recourse to his own ingenuity and compel him, if he could, to wait till daylight; and so, while tightening the girths of the horse, he quietly and without being felt, with his ass' halter tied both Rocinante's legs, so that when Don Quixote strove to go he was unable as the horse could only move by jumps.
To secure the favor and interest of this enterprising and powerful monarch, he precipitated England into a war with France, contrary to the plainest dictates of policy, and at the hazard of the safety and independence, as well of the kingdom over which he presided by his counsels, as of Europe in general.
With equal pleasure I have as often taken notice that Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs, and who, by their joint counsels, arms, and efforts, fighting side by side throughout a long and bloody war, have nobly established general liberty and independence.