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

Antonyms

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 Jessica told Emily about a wide range of possibilities, including having her cremains interred in an undersea cemetery, which would give Ruby a reason to learn to scuba dive. Star Tribune, "When cancer hijacked a new mother's happily ever after, she planned a death as unconventional as her life. A year later, her husband is the father he never expected to be, carrying on her legacy.," 11 Oct. 2020 If the state releases school-level data on COVID-19 cases, communities should not be surprised to learn of cases affiliated with the school. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland schools will have to report any coronavirus cases — but health officials don’t plan to publicize the data," 9 Oct. 2020 Lopater found the conference to be well-planned and thought there was an excellent variety of topics to learn from. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "South Florida teachers participate in Holocaust education conference," 9 Oct. 2020 Jones has had to learn a new offense under coordinator Jason Garrett, while Haskins was tasked with doing the same in Scott Turner's attack. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Now NFL's laughingstock, NFC East facing perfect storm of challenges in 2020," 9 Oct. 2020 Today we are devastated to learn of the passing of Monica Roberts (@TransGriot), a pioneering trans journalist who dedicated her life to lifting the voices of Black trans lives. NBC News, "LGBTQ community mourns death of trans journalist Monica Roberts," 9 Oct. 2020 At first, investigators thought only Mattingly had fired his weapon, only to later learn Cosgrove and Hankison had as well. Tessa Duvall, The Courier-Journal, "Report: Police major in charge of Breonna Taylor officers pressured investigators," 9 Oct. 2020 Check out our slideshow below to see photos of famous people turning a year older on October 9th and learn an interesting fact about each of them. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Today’s famous birthdays list for October 9, 2020 includes celebrities Scott Bakula, Sharon Osbourne," 9 Oct. 2020 During these trainings, specific training was provided for members to learn and practice tactical maneuvers. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "These 13 men were charged with conspiring to kidnap Whitmer: Here's what we know," 9 Oct. 2020

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

Learn More about learn

Time Traveler for learn

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for learn

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Learn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/learn. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for learn

learn

verb
How to pronounce learn (audio)

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

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!