les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lesson (audio) \

Definition of lesson

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a passage from sacred writings read in a service of worship
2a : a piece of instruction
b : a reading or exercise to be studied by a pupil
c : a division of a course of instruction
3a : something learned by study or experience his years of travel had taught him valuable lessons
b : an instructive example the lessons of history


lessoned; lessoning\ ˈle-​sə-​niŋ How to pronounce lessoning (audio) , ˈles-​niŋ \

Definition of lesson (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give a lesson to : instruct

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for lesson

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of lesson in a Sentence

Noun You can't go out to play until you've finished your lessons. The book is divided into 12 lessons. She took piano lessons for years. political leaders who have failed to learn the lessons of history I've learned my lesson—I'll never do that again! Let that be a lesson to you—if you don't take better care of your toys they'll get broken! Verb would tirelessly lesson the children in proper manners
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Two rings, two lessons Patricia told his origin story to about 300 people at the military ball. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Matt Patricia and the greatest engineering challenge of his career," 23 Feb. 2020 Ambassador Yovanovitch has had a 30-year career of public service in many locations, with many lessons to be drawn. USA TODAY, "Former Ukraine diplomat Marie Yovanovitch is writing a memoir about her career," 22 Feb. 2020 Lady Elite will offer modeling, etiquette and dance classes for kids, along with photography and yoga lessons for adults. From News Sources, Houston Chronicle, "Children’s clothing boutique opens in Deer Park," 21 Feb. 2020 The class was broken into five groups, rotating into lessons about safety, laws, how to actually get a CCW license, which only a sheriff can issue, and then actual target practice. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "'We can't be afraid.' In a Cincinnati church basement, black women take a class together: learning how to fire guns," 21 Feb. 2020 Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Thursday sentenced President Trump’s former confidant Roger Stone to 40 months in prison, which if nothing else offers some lessons about the political hysterics of the last two weeks in Washington. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Roger Stone’s Sentence," 20 Feb. 2020 And perhaps there is a wider lesson in this for America and other countries going through this hyperbolic era. Douglas Murray, National Review, "After Brexit, Britain Carries On," 20 Feb. 2020 The group created a teacher committee of local educators who created lessons focused on lynching and racial terror. al, "4 new lynching victims found in Jefferson County," 20 Feb. 2020 Despite this tough lesson in humility, Merico is on through to La La Land. Robbie Daw, Billboard, "'American Idol' Season 18 Premiere Recap: New Faces, Returning Contestants & More," 17 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To lesson their harmful impact on the environment, 35 Starbucks stores began charging customers who use the paper cups on Monday, February 26. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Starbucks Stores in London Test Paper Cup Fee," 27 Feb. 2018 LESSON 3: EMBRACE RIVALRY If competition brings out the best in us, what does rivalry—a sort of turbo-competition—do? Jon Wertheim, SI.com, "Roger Federer LLC: How the G.O.A.T. Got to the Top of His Game, in Businesslike Fashion," 25 Aug. 2017 Lesson five: Find a way to focus on your strengths. Allen Buchanan, Orange County Register, "Six commercial real estate lessons learned in 2016," 7 Jan. 2017

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lesson


Middle English, from Anglo-French leçon, from Late Latin lection-, lectio, from Latin, act of reading, from legere to read — more at legend

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lesson

Time Traveler for lesson

Time Traveler

The first known use of lesson was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lesson

Last Updated

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lesson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lesson. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lesson


How to pronounce lesson (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lesson

: an activity that you do in order to learn something also : something that is taught
: a single class or part of a course of instruction
: something learned through experience


les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lesson (audio) \

Kids Definition of lesson

1 : something learned or taught Travels to other countries taught him valuable lessons.
2 : a single class or part of a course of instruction music lessons

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lesson

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lesson

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lesson

Spanish Central: Translation of lesson

Nglish: Translation of lesson for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lesson for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lesson

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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