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Webster 1913 Edition


Learn

Learn

(lẽrn)
,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Learned
(lẽrnd)
, or
Learnt
(lẽrnt);
p. pr. & vb. n.
Learning
.]
[OE.
lernen
,
leornen
, AS.
leornian
; akin to OS.
linōn
, for
lirnōn
, OHG.
lirnēn
,
lernēn
, G.
lernen
, fr. the root of AS.
lǣran
to teach, OS.
lērian
, OHG.
lēran
, G.
lehren
, Goth.
laisjan
, also Goth
lais
I know,
leis
acquainted (in comp.); all prob. from a root meaning, to go, go over, and hence, to learn; cf. AS.
leoran
to go. Cf.
Last
a mold of the foot,
lore
.]
1.
To gain knowledge or information of; to ascertain by inquiry, study, or investigation; to receive instruction concerning; to fix in the mind; to acquire understanding of, or skill;
as, to
learn
the way; to
learn
a lesson; to
learn
dancing; to
learn
to skate; to
learn
the violin; to
learn
the truth about something.
Learn to do well.”
Is. i. 17.
Now
learn
a parable of the fig tree.
Matt. xxiv. 32.
2.
To communicate knowledge to; to teach.
[Obs.]
Hast thou not
learned
me how
To make perfumes ?
Shakespeare
Learn formerly had also the sense of teach, in accordance with the analogy of the French and other languages, and hence we find it with this sense in Shakespeare, Spenser, and other old writers. This usage has now passed away. To learn is to receive instruction, and to teach is to give instruction. He who is taught learns, not he who teaches.

Learn

,
Verb.
I.
To acquire knowledge or skill; to make progress in acquiring knowledge or skill; to receive information or instruction;
as, this child
learns
quickly
.
Take my yoke upon you and
learn
of me.
Matt. xi. 29.
To learn by heart
.
See
By heart
, under
Heart
.
To learn by rote
,
to memorize by repetition without exercise of the understanding.

Webster 1828 Edition


Learn

LEARN

,
Verb.
T.
lern.
1.
To gain knowledge of; to acquire knowledge or ideas of something before unknown. We learn the use of letters, the meaning of words and the principles of science. We learn things by instruction, by study, and by experience and observation. It is much easier to learn what is right, than to unlearn what is wrong.
Now learn a parable of the fig tree. Matt. 24.
2.
To acquire skill in any thing; to gain by practice a faculty of performing; as, to learn to play on a flute or an organ.
The chief art of learning is to attempt but little at a time.
3.
To teach; to communicate the knowledge of something before unknown.
Hast thou not learned me how to make perfumes?
[This use of learn, is found in respectable writers, but is now deemed inelegant as well as improper.

LEARN

,
Verb.
I.
lern.
1.
To gain or receive knowledge; to receive instruction; to take pattern; with of.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly - Matt. 11.
2.
To receive information or intelligence.

Definition 2023


learn

learn

English

Verb

learn (third-person singular simple present learns, present participle learning, simple past and past participle learned or (chiefly UK) learnt)

  1. To acquire, or attempt to acquire knowledge or an ability to do something.
  2. To attend a course or other educational activity.
  3. To gain knowledge from a bad experience so as to improve.
    learn from one's mistakes
  4. To be studying.
  5. To come to know; to become informed of; to find out.
    He just learned that he will be sacked.
Usage notes
  • See other, dated and regional, sense of learn below.
Synonyms
Antonyms
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

Possibly related to Middle English leren, from Old English lǣran (to teach, instruct, indoctrinate), from Proto-Germanic *laizijaną (to teach), from *laizō (lore, teaching", literally, "track, trace), from Proto-Indo-European *leyəs- (to track, furrow). Cognate with Scots lere, leir, Saterland Frisian leere, West Frisian leare, Dutch leren, German lehren, Swedish lära. See also lear, lore. But normally the Middle English word would give lere, not learn.

Verb

learn (third-person singular simple present learns, present participle learning, simple past and past participle learned or learnt)

  1. (now only in slang and dialects) To teach.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ix, in Le Morte Darthur, book VIII:
      And whan she had serched hym / she fond in the bottome of his wound that therin was poyson / And soo she heled hym [] / and therfore Tramtrist cast grete loue to la beale Isoud / for she was at that tyme the fairest mayde and lady of the worlde / And there Tramtryst lerned her to harpe / and she beganne to haue grete fantasye vnto hym
    • 1599, William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, Act 4 Scene 1
      Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
    • circa 1611, William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, Act I Scene 5:
      Have I not been / Thy pupil long? Hast thou not learn’d me how / To make perfumes?
    • 1993, The Simpsons, (18 Feb. 1993) Lisa's thoughts:
      That'll learn him to bust my tomater.
Usage notes

Now often considered non-standard.

Derived terms
Related terms

References

  • learn in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • learn in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • Family Word Finder, Readers Digest Association Inc. NY 1975

Anagrams


Scots

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /lɛrn/

Verb

learn (third-person singular present learns, present participle learnin, past learnt, past participle learnt)

  1. To learn.
  2. To teach.