learning curve

noun
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

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

Recent Examples of learning curve from the Web

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.

First Known Use of learning curve

1922


Financial Definition of LEARNING CURVE

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.


LEARNING CURVE Defined for English Language Learners

learning curve

noun

Definition of learning curve for English Language Learners

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


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