learning curve


Definition of learning curve 

1 : a curve plotting performance against practice especially : one graphing decline in unit costs with cumulative output

2 : the course of progress made in learning something

Examples of learning curve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

All charities face a learning curve, of course, and Cheshire, Connecticut, is alone in rejecting the program, while some 380 other school districts and charter schools still participate. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Billionaires are spending their fortunes reshaping America’s schools. It isn’t working.," 30 Oct. 2018 Francis has had a steep and difficult learning curve on the issue of complicity and culpability. Nicole Winfield, The Seattle Times, "Vatican expert wants accountability on abuse summit agenda," 8 Oct. 2018 Still, developers say there will be a learning curve, and the game will roll out in stages to help new players get accustomed to the concept. Makena Kelly, The Verge, "MLB will release a crypto baseball game on the blockchain," 13 July 2018 But the new season, announced on Monday, also reflects both the tastes and the learning curve of the interim team that has been running the company since his departure. Michael Cooper, New York Times, "City Ballet’s New Team Gets a Crash Course in Season Planning," 16 Apr. 2018 Perhaps Wiltjer’s veteran presence could have eased some of the learning curve for a young 2013-14 team, but that roster was loaded at the 3-4-5 positions. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Leaving Kentucky doesn't guarantee success. Here's how some Calipari-era transfers fared," 10 Apr. 2018 So hopefully that helps with the learning curve and helps me succeed at the next level. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions get an A for drafting Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson," 27 Apr. 2018 There’s a learning curve for new entrepreneurs, and some mistakes are more expensive than others, Farzan said. Ethan Millman, latimes.com, "How one couple turned grocery bagging into a fast-growing business," 29 June 2018 The new site will have a similar look and feel to the existing site, so there's less of a learning curve, Paradise said. Jennifer Conn, Akron Reporter, cleveland.com, "Akron Public Schools to unveil new website featuring language translation," 17 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'learning curve.' 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 learning curve

1922, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

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The first known use of learning curve was in 1922

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learning curve


Financial Definition of learning curve

What It Is

A learning curve is the time it takes to master a concept. It is more of an idea than a chart or other visual representation of learning.

How It Works

For example, piloting a 777 has a steep learning curve -- you can't just walk in off the street and learn how to do it in 10 minutes. It takes months if not years of training and simulation before one can be considered a master of the concept of flying and landing a 777.

Why It Matters

In the business world, learning curves cost money and they create competitive advantages. If a company is training employees how to pilot 777s, for example, the training time costs a lot. However, if the company becomes the only one to have employees who know how to pilot 777s, it has used the learning curve to create a competitive advantage.

In many cases, a graphical representation of the learning curve shows what many experience in the real world -- initial concepts are easy to pick up, but the long-term detail involved in mastering the concept takes years to acquire.

Source: Investing Answers

learning curve


English Language Learners Definition of learning curve

: the rate at which someone learns something new : the course of progress made in learning something

More from Merriam-Webster on learning curve

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with learning curve

Comments on learning curve

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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