verb \ˈlərn\

: to gain knowledge or skill by studying, practicing, being taught, or experiencing something

: to cause (something) to be in your memory by studying it

: to hear or be told (something) : to find out (something)

learned \ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt\ learn·ing

Full Definition of LEARN

transitive verb
a (1) :  to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience <learn a trade> (2) :  memorize <learn the lines of a play>
b :  to come to be able <learn to dance>
c :  to come to realize <learned that honesty paid>
a nonstandard :  teach
b obsolete :  to inform of something
:  to come to know :  hear <we just learned that he was ill>
intransitive verb
:  to acquire knowledge or skill or a behavioral tendency
learn·able \ˈlər-nə-bəl\ adjective
learn·er noun

Usage Discussion of LEARN

Learn in the sense of teach dates from the 13th century and was standard until at least the early 19th <made them drunk with true Hollands—and then learned them the art of making bargains — Washington Irving>. But by Mark Twain's time it was receding to a speech form associated chiefly with the less educated <never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump — Mark Twain>. The present-day status of learn has not risen. This use persists in speech, but in writing it appears mainly in the representation of such speech or its deliberate imitation for effect.

Examples of LEARN

  1. People learn throughout their lives.
  2. I can't swim yet, but I'm learning.
  3. She's interested in learning French.
  4. We had to learn the rules of the game.
  5. I'm trying to learn my lines for the play.
  6. We had to learn the names of the state capitals.
  7. She learned through a letter that her father had died.
  8. I later learned that they had never called.
  9. We finally learned the truth about what had happened.

Origin of LEARN

Middle English lernen, from Old English leornian; akin to Old High German lernēn to learn, Old English last footprint, Latin lira furrow, track
First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with LEARN


verb \ˈlərn\   (Medical Dictionary)
learned \ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt\ also learnt \ˈlərnt\ learn·ing

Medical Definition of LEARN

transitive verb
:  to acquire (a change in behavior) by learning
intransitive verb
:  to acquire a behavioral tendency by learning
learn·er noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: learnedPrevious Word in the Dictionary: lea rigAll Words Near: learn
May 22, 2015
nepotism Hear it
favoritism based on kinship
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears