Simple Definition of learn
: 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)
Full Definition of learn
learned play \ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt\ learn·ing
1 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>
2 a nonstandard : teach b obsolete : to inform of something
3 : to come to know : hear <we just learned that he was ill>
: to acquire knowledge or skill or a behavioral tendency
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
People learn throughout their lives.
I can't swim yet, but I'm learning.
She's interested in learning French.
We had to learn the rules of the game.
I'm trying to learn my lines for the play.
We had to learn the names of the state capitals.
She learned through a letter that her father had died.
I later learned that they had never called.
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
Synonym Discussion of learn
Seen and Heard
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