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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Come learn about the economy, financial fitness and historical currency. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Know, "Bored and broke? Here are 10 things to do around Denver for $10 or less," 2 July 2019 Using these tools and others, researchers have learned that IDPs may help control droplet assembly, function and disassembly. Elizabeth O'day, Scientific American, "A Special Class of Proteins Are Promising Targets for Drugs for Cancer and Alzehimer's," 1 July 2019 Dance Moms: Resurrection is all about Abby Lee Miller learning from past mistakes. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Abby Lee Miller Kicked Brady Farrar Off the Team During This Week's 'Dance Moms'," 26 June 2019 At the heart of the device is what the company calls a machine learning algorithm. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students," 25 June 2019 She's also taken early childhood welfare as one of her main causes, often advocating for children to get outdoors, or meeting with scientists to learn about the latest research in developmental neuroscience. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Wears a Summery Dress and Espadrilles to a Royal Photographic Society Workshop," 25 June 2019 The teen program, which currently has 42 members, brings children together from schools across Miami-Dade County, not only to learn these fundamental skills, but to also meet others who are blind or visually impaired. Catie Wegman, sun-sentinel.com, "White glove treatment: Teens 'see’ antique cars through touch," 19 June 2019 Read full terms and conditions Please access our Privacy Policy to learn what personal data Disqus collects and your choices about how it is used. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Neighbors’ feud erupts: Arson suspect tripped up by her own video," 18 June 2019 Albuquerque zoo officials are waiting for the necropsy results to learn why a young King penguin that had just arrived from SeaWorld Orlando eight days earlier has died, the Albuquerque Journal is reporting. Gabrielle Russon, orlandosentinel.com, "Penguin from SeaWorld Orlando dies at New Mexico zoo," 18 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!