Definition of admonish in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ədˈmäniSH/


[with object]
1Warn or reprimand someone firmly: she admonished me for appearing at breakfast unshaven “You mustn’t say that, Shiona,” Ruth admonished her
More example sentences
  • It is important that you don't chastise or admonish yourself for your feelings.
  • When they reached the Squad's room, they all turned to either glare at or admonish Vi.
  • When Stephen King won the National Book Award he used the opportunity to admonish critics for not reading more John Grisham.
reprimand, rebuke, scold, reprove, reproach, upbraid, chastise, chide, berate, criticize, take to task, read the riot act to, rake/haul over the coals;
dress down, bawl out, rap over the knuckles, give someone hell;
chew out
formal castigate
rare reprehend
1.1 [with object and infinitive] Advise or urge (someone) earnestly: she admonished him to drink no more than one glass of wine
More example sentences
  • In addition, clients are admonished to drink at least two quarts of water each day to help cleanse the body of toxins associated with weight loss and exercise.
  • And Lloyd Best in rebuttal admonished us never to be ‘cautious’ about criticising leadership.
  • But doctors are admonished to prescribe this pain reliever only with the utmost caution for a patient with limited kidney function.
advise, recommend, counsel, urge, exhort, bid, enjoin;
caution, warn
formal adjure
1.2 archaic Warn (someone) of something to be avoided: he admonished the people against the evil of such practices
More example sentences
  • We are admonished to avoid speaking ill of the dead, so we'll leave Derrida with this wonderful little story by Michael Martone, a leading figure in the Johns Hopkins creative writing program during the 1960s.
  • Each of the moral rules admonishes us to avoid causing a harm…



Pronunciation: /ədˈmäniSHmənt/
Example sentences
  • The traditional critical admonishment to distinguish between a writer and his or her work is discarded.
  • So we were taken aback the other day when an email we had sent to a York PR firm bounced back, accompanied by a strict admonishment.
  • However, enforcement of the dress code regulations has been uneven and, when it occurred, generally consisted of verbal admonishment by security forces.


Middle English amonest 'urge, exhort', from Old French amonester, based on Latin admonere 'urge by warning'. In , the final t of amonest was taken to indicate the past tense, and its present tense admonesse changed on the pattern of verbs such as abolish; the prefix a- became ad- in the 16th century by association with the Latin form.

  • monitor from early 16th century:

    Today's familiar uses of monitor, for a computer or TV screen or for checking the progress or quality of something, date only from the mid 20th century. A much earlier sense was ‘a reminder or warning’, reflecting its origin in Latin monere ‘to warn’, the source also of admonish (Middle English), monster (Late Middle English), and monument (Middle English). A monitor lizard is a large tropical lizard, in Australia also called a goanna (a L19th corruption of iguana), whose name derives from the way its reactions can warn people of the presence of a venomous creature. In schools from the 16th century a monitor was a pupil with responsibility for supervising and disciplining other pupils, who in the past might have done some teaching.

Words that rhyme with admonish

astonish, donnish

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ad·mon·ish

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words