learn

verb
\ ˈlərn How to pronounce learn (audio) \
learned\ ˈlərnd How to pronounce learned (audio) , ˈlərnt How to pronounce learned (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce learnable (audio) \ adjective
learner noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for learn

Synonyms

get, master, pick up

Antonyms

unlearn

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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

Many descendants of camp survivors grew up without learning about the camps because their families never discussed it, whether out of embarrassment, shame, or painful memories associated with being imprisoned. Taylor Weik, Teen Vogue, "Japanese-American Teens are Confronting History by Visiting World War II Former Incarceration Camps," 8 May 2019 The duchess will also open the Pears Family School, which supports students who have struggled in mainstream education and allows parents to attend classes to help their children learn. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Looks Stunning in a Fitted Green Emilia Wickstead Dress at a Solo Engagement," 1 May 2019 One of the big lessons Canonical has learned from collecting hardware metrics is that Ubuntu ends up in virtual machines a lot, so improvements are apparently in the works. Scott Gilbertson, Ars Technica, "A tour of elementary OS, perhaps the Linux world’s best hope for the mainstream," 28 Dec. 2018 But data from national assessments told a less encouraging story: Many of the kids in school weren’t actually learning. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018 As part of Seif’s Freedom to Fly program, participants learn aviation facts to counter their anxious thoughts. Jessica Toscano, SELF, "How to Finally Overcome Your Fear of Flying," 31 Jan. 2019 Upon questioning the other Hart kids, investigators learn the children are often grounded, spanked, or sent to bed without food. Glamour, "Broken Harts, Episode 5: 'Owies'," 8 Jan. 2019 In season 1, a group of Los Angeles teens learn that their parents have spent years regularly sacrificing runaway kids to their mysterious alien benefactor Jonah (Julian McMahon), in exchange for wealth and power. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 2 of Runaways forges a bold new path — eventually," 21 Dec. 2018 It’s endurance—a feminine strength that may not be inherent but is certainly learned, or forced upon women in the real world. Jill Gutowitz, Glamour, "Captain Marvel Is a New Kind of Female Hero," 11 Mar. 2019

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

11 May 2019

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 How to pronounce learn (audio) \
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 How to pronounce learn (audio) \
learned\ ˈlərnd How to pronounce learned (audio) , ˈlərnt How to pronounce learned (audio) \ also learnt\ ˈlərnt How to pronounce learnt (audio) \; 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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More from Merriam-Webster on learn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with learn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for learn

Spanish Central: Translation of learn

Nglish: Translation of learn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of learn for Arabic Speakers

Comments on learn

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