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a counsel of despair

An admission of defeat, hopelessness, or resignation to a particular negative outcome or situation. It saddens me to hear such a counsel of despair from our president about the situation regarding our healthcare system. Though obviously spruced up with media-friendly spin, the PR statement amounted to little more than a counsel of despair regarding the company's future outlooks.
See also: counsel, despair, of

a counsel of perfection

Instructions or advice given for one to attain an ideal but unfeasible or unrealizable standard. But in the current market, those enter the workforce are coming up against a counsel of perfection, demanding that they have not only a college degree or two, but also several years' experience and a huge list of professional references if they hope to find any job that pays more than minimum wage.
See also: counsel, of, perfection

a fool may give a wise man counsel

Do not be overconfident in others' advice. I know you hold Bill in high esteem, but I don't think you should do as he suggested. Just keep in mind that a fool may give a wise man counsel.
See also: counsel, fool, give, man, may, wise

counsel (someone) about (something)

To advise one on a particular topic or issue. Since you used to handle this project, can you counsel Joanne about it?
See also: counsel

counsel (someone) against (something)

To advise one against taking some action. As his defense lawyer, you need to counsel your client against making incriminating statements like that.
See also: counsel

keep (one's) own counsel

To not share one's thoughts or plans with others. I'm just naturally a private person, so I keep my own counsel.
See also: counsel, keep, own

counsel someone about something

to give advice to someone about something. Will you counsel George about which tires to buy?
See also: counsel

counsel someone against something

to advise someone against doing something. The lawyer counseled her against suing the government. I was counseled against going for a walk alone at night.
See also: counsel

keep one's own counsel

Fig. to keep one's thoughts and plans to oneself; to withhold from other people one's thoughts and plans. Jane is very quiet. She tends to keep her own counsel. I advise you to keep your own counsel.
See also: counsel, keep, own

keep one's own counsel

Say little or nothing about one's opinions or intentions. For example, Betty is notorious for keeping her own counsel; you never know what she really thinks. This expression employs counsel in the sense of "a secret," a usage dating from about 1300.
See also: counsel, keep, own

a counsel of despair

an action to be taken when all else fails.
2003 Guardian This is not a counsel of despair. The argument in favour of the euro can be won, as Winning From Behind, a pamphlet published today by Britain in Europe, argues.
See also: counsel, despair, of

a counsel of perfection

advice that is ideal but not feasible.
1986 E. Hall in Home Owner Manual Twice yearly desludging has been recommended but this is probably a counsel of perfection.
See also: counsel, of, perfection

keep your own ˈcounsel

(formal) keep your thoughts, plans, etc. secret: Try to keep your own counsel when you’re with him, or he’ll tell everyone what you say.
See also: counsel, keep, own
References in periodicals archive ?
Power Play: Cousins was lead counsel for the Creditors' Committee in the 54 Apex/Clark Oil/Copper Mountain cases.
Power Play: Jackson recently served as lead Creditors' Committee counsel in the Primary Health Systems Inc.
He is currently serving as counsel to Doctors Community Healthcare, a conglomerate of five hospitals located in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., which is in Chapter 11 restructuring.
Power Play: From 1987 through 1993, he served as special bankruptcy counsel to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources in the multibillion dollar bankruptcy of LTV Steel Co.
Formerly, Chambers served as chancellor of North Carolina Central University and the director counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Power Play: Shaw was lead counsel representing African American and Latino University of Michigan undergraduate students in the affirmative action case Gratz v.
The Harvard Law School graduate served as Astra Merck's first general counsel and now oversees all legal affairs of Merck, which had 2002 sales of $51.8 billion.
Power Play: During his tenure as executive vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary at Comerica Inc., Madison negotiated the naming rights agreement with the Detroit Tigers that resulted in the team's new stadium being named Comerica Park.
Previously, she served as vice president and deputy general counsel for Colgate-Palmolive.
A Harvard Law School graduate, Patrick was previously vice president and general counsel at Texaco Inc.
Career Highlights: In 1996, Watson was named a senior vice president of The New York Times Co., a leading media company with 2002 revenues of $3 billion, having served as vice president since 1990 and general counsel since 1989.
While these areas are under the jurisdiction of the Office of Chief Counsel, clearly the Examination function is in unique position to contribute to the decision-making process.
Executives recognized the need to set up the best affordable training for Examination, Appeals, and Chief Counsel personnel involved in CEP cases.
We are also looking to develop systems to track issues through Appeals and Counsel. Issue tracking is extremely important not only for us to build strategy into our audits, but also to increase sensitivity to emerging issues.
We believe early involvement of Counsel in the Examination process is essential to the overall success of the large case program.