When you give counsel or counsel someone, you give advice. If your neighbor is suing you because your dog keeps eating his begonias, you might seek the counsel of a dog trainer or, if that doesn't work, a lawyer.

You can get professional counsel — from a minister or psychiatrist or someone else trained in counseling — or you can get counsel from anyone you trust. You can ask your stylish friend to counsel you on your hairstyle, or you could write to Dear Abby for counsel on your lovelife. Counsel is also what you call a lawyer who represents you in court. In your begonia-eating dog case, your lawyer would be counsel for the defense.

Definitions of counsel

n something that provides direction or advice as to a decision or course of action

counseling, counselling, direction, guidance
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guideline, road map
a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action
career counseling
counseling on career opportunities
something that provides guidance (as Polaris guides mariners)
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, hint, lead, steer, tip, wind
an indication of potential opportunity
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n a lawyer who pleads cases in court

advocate, counsellor, counselor, counselor-at-law, pleader
Type of:
attorney, lawyer
a professional person authorized to practice law; conducts lawsuits or gives legal advice

v give advice to

“The teacher counsels troubled students”
“The lawyer counselled me when I was accused of tax fraud”
advise, rede
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exhort, press, urge, urge on
force or impel in an indicated direction
deter, dissuade
turn away from by persuasion
admonish, discourage, monish, warn
admonish or counsel in terms of someone's behavior
tip, tip off
give insider information or advise to
misadvise, misguide
give bad advice to
put forward, as of an idea
advise professionally
make a treatment inadvisable
hurry, rush
urge to an unnatural speed
bear on, push
press, drive, or impel (someone) to action or completion of an action
talk out of
persuade someone not to do something
advocate, preach
speak, plead, or argue in favor of
Type of:
discuss, hash out, talk over
speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion

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