A warning is a caution against something dangerous. When there's a shark warning at the beach, the lifeguards will order everyone out of the water.

When you receive a warning, you get an official advance notice of some impending problem. A crow might caw loudly as a warning when it sees a cat, and a traffic cop might give a first-time speeder a warning instead of an expensive ticket. You can also use warning as an adjective: "The warning light came on in her car as it started to overheat."

Definitions of warning

n a message informing of danger

“a warning that still more bombs could explode”
Emergency Alert System
a federal warning system that is activated by FEMA; enables the President to take over the United States airwaves to warn the whole country of major catastrophic events
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
wake-up call
a warning to take action concerning something that was overlooked or neglected
needless warnings
alert, alerting
a warning that serves to make you more alert to danger
caution, caveat
a warning against certain acts
false alarm
a warning that is given about something that fails to occur
forewarning, premonition
an early warning about a future event
a warning message
strategic warning
(military) a warning prior to the start of a threatening act
tactical warning
(military) a warning after the initiation of a hostile act
a warning that something unpleasant is imminent
warning of attack
a warning to national policy makers that an enemy intends to launch an attack in the near future
warning of war
a warning to national policy makers that an enemy intends war or is preparing for war and is on a course that increases the risk of war
Type of:
informing, making known
a speech act that conveys information

n cautionary advice about something imminent (especially imminent danger or other unpleasantness)

“the warning was to beware of surprises”
admonition, monition, word of advice
deterrent example, example, lesson, object lesson
punishment intended as a warning to others
Type of:
a proposal for an appropriate course of action

n notification of something, usually in advance

“they gave little warning of their arrival”
“she had only had four days' warning before leaving Berlin”
Type of:
apprisal, notification, telling
informing by words

adj serving to warn

admonitory, cautionary, exemplary, monitory
deterring from action

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.