Meaning of WARNING in English
I. warn ‧ ing 1 S3 W2 /ˈwɔːnɪŋ $ ˈwɔːrn-/ BrE AmE noun
1 . [uncountable and countable] something, especially a statement, that tells you that something bad, dangerous, or annoying might happen so that you can be ready or avoid it
a warning of floods
warnings about the dangers of smoking
This experience should serve as a warning against complacency.
a warning to pregnant women not to drink alcohol
a warning that grey squirrels are threatening the existence of red squirrels
2 . [countable] a statement telling someone that if they continue to behave in an unsatisfactory way, they will be punished:
The Surrey team were given a warning last year for repeated offences.
I’m giving you a final warning – don’t be late again.
• • •
▪ give a warning
He slammed on the brakes without giving any warning.
▪ issue a warning (=officially warn people)
The government issued a warning about eating raw eggs.
▪ deliver/sound a warning (=give a public warning)
The chairman sounded a warning that jobs could be lost.
▪ heed a warning (=take notice of it)
Drivers failed to heed warnings about fog.
▪ ignore a warning
He had ignored their warning to stay in the car.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + warning
▪ advance/prior warning
Workers were given no advance warning of the closure.
▪ fair warning
He was given fair warning that such behaviour would not be tolerated.
▪ a stern warning
I got a stern warning against giving false information to the police.
▪ a stark warning
Cigarette packets carry the stark warning ‘smoking kills’.
▪ a health warning (=a warning that something is bad for your health)
All tobacco products must carry a health warning.
▪ a flood/gale/tornado warning
A flood warning has been issued for the River Wye in Herefordshire.
▪ without (any) warning
Police fired into the crowd without warning.
▪ a word of warning (=used before telling someone to be careful about something)
A word of warning: don’t use too much glue.
• • •
▪ warning something that you say or do to tell people about danger, or to tell them not to do something:
All cigarette packets carry a government health warning.
She ignored her parents' warnings.
The army issued a warning that anyone who was out on the streets after dark was likely to be shot.
▪ caution formal an official warning or a piece of advice telling you to be careful:
Caution: do not install electrical equipment near or around water sources.
The video begins with a caution that you must do some warm-up exercises first.
▪ tip-off informal a warning that someone is about to do something, especially one given to the police about a crime:
Police were called to the hotel after a tip-off.
▪ alert a warning to be ready for possible danger that may happen soon:
Twelve flood alerts have been issued to areas along the River Severn.
a fire alert
The ambulance services were on red alert (=they were ready to take action immediately) .
▪ advisory formal an official warning or notice that gives information about a dangerous situation:
The air pollution gets so bad on some days that health advisories are posted at park entrances.
▪ caveat formal a warning that something may not be completely true, effective etc. Also used when pointing out that it is important to remember something:
The woman was offered treatment, but with the caveat that it had only a 30% chance of success.
One caveat is that you must take the goods back to the shop within 14 days.
There is one important caveat to this argument.
II. warning 2 BrE AmE adjective [only before noun]
1 . a warning action or thing tells you that something bad or dangerous might happen:
Red warning lights were flashing.
The government ignored all the warning signs.
a warning look/glance
She said nothing but gave him a warning look.
2 . warning bell/bells used to say that something makes someone start to be worried or careful about something
a warning bell rings/sounds
As she read his letter, warning bells began to sound in her head.
• • •
■ warning + NOUN
▪ a warning sign
Don’t ignore the warning signs of stress.
▪ a warning shot
Troops fired warning shots over the heads of demonstrators.
▪ a warning light
Red warning lights were flashing.
▪ a warning look/glance
She gave me a warning look, but I carried on.
▪ a warning gesture
He put his finger to his lips in a warning gesture.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012