learn

verb
\ˈlərn \
learned\ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt \; learning

Definition of learn 

transitive verb

1a(1) : to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience learn a trade learned to play chess

(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

2a nonstandard : teach

b obsolete : to inform of something

3 : to come to know : hear we just learned that he was ill

intransitive verb

: to acquire knowledge or skill or a behavioral tendency were shocked to learn of her death

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Other Words from learn

learnable \ˈlər-nə-bəl \ adjective
learner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for learn

discover, ascertain, determine, unearth, learn mean to find out what one did not previously know. discover may apply to something requiring exploration or investigation or to a chance encounter. discovered the source of the river ascertain implies effort to find the facts or the truth proceeding from awareness of ignorance or uncertainty. attempts to ascertain the population of the region determine emphasizes the intent to establish the facts definitely or precisely. unable to determine the origin of the word unearth implies bringing to light something forgotten or hidden. unearth old records learn may imply acquiring knowledge with little effort or conscious intention (as by simply being told) or it may imply study and practice. I learned her name only today learning Greek

Can learn mean teach?: Usage Guide

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 in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Regan had stopped at a gas station in a snowstorm and learned that a woman with young children was stranded with a flat tire and no spare. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "He Brought His Skill For Teaching, Knack For Colonial Buildings To Coventry," 15 July 2018 The idea was formed early last year, as officials recognized the need for permanent military training teams that could be deployed worldwide to help local forces learn how to fight better. Lolita C. Baldor, chicagotribune.com, "Army ponders changes after insider attack that killed soldier in Afghanistan," 14 July 2018 And in middle school, the coaches introduced me to audibles and helped me in learning how to read (defensive) coverages. Rick Armstrong, Aurora Beacon-News, "Air apparent: Aurora Christian coaches grooming sophomore Ethan Hampton to power passing attack," 14 July 2018 Take a tour of all 30 stadiums from around the league and learn a little about each one. Brian Hall, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Twins hit Nathan Eovaldi hard, hold off Rays 11-8," 14 July 2018 College staff will help adults learn how to apply to college, check out available degrees and certificate options, evaluate prior college credits, and understand financial aid and scholarships. Michelle Mullins, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin News Digest," 13 July 2018 Leinonen attended the trial of Noor Salman, Mateen's widow, in hopes of learning new information about her son's death, but her questions about the bullets that killed her son weren't brought up during the proceedings. Shannon Butler And Jason Kelly, ajc, "Pulse shooting victim's mother pressing for FBI ballistics report," 13 July 2018 With much effort and determination, Moriah found the right medicines and learned to alleviate her symptoms with diet and exercise. Philly.com, "Philadelphia weddings: Moriah Benjoseph and Ben Nassau," 13 July 2018 Unsure what to do, Miller researched flag repairs and learned the company that made the flag also fixes them. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oak Creek-based Eder Flag repairs treasured American flag damaged in Afghanistan," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'learn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of learn

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a(1)

History and Etymology for learn

Middle English lernen, from Old English leornian; akin to Old High German lernēn to learn, Old English last footprint, Latin lira furrow, track

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Statistics for learn

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for learn

The first known use of learn was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for learn

learn

verb

English Language Learners 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)

learn

verb
\ˈlərn \
learned\ˈlərnd \ also learnt\ˈlərnt \; learning

Kids Definition of learn

1 : to get knowledge of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience I'm learning a foreign language.

2 : memorize Actors have to learn their lines.

3 : to become able through practice Babies learn to walk.

4 : to come to realize and understand You must learn right from wrong.

5 : to find out I finally learned what had happened.

6 : to gain knowledge The children were eager to learn.

Other Words from learn

learner noun

learn

verb
\ˈlərn \
learned\ˈlərnd, ˈlərnt \ also learnt\ˈlərnt \; learning

Medical Definition of learn 

transitive verb

: to acquire (a change in behavior) by learning

intransitive verb

: to acquire a behavioral tendency by learning

Other Words from learn

learner noun

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Comments on learn

What made you want to look up learn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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