lesson

noun
les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn \

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
c : reprimand

lesson

verb
lessoned; lessoning\ ˈle-​sə-​niŋ , 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

assignment, reading

Synonyms: Verb

educate, indoctrinate, instruct, school, teach, train, tutor

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

This offers important lessons for the many other countries that now, or will soon, face similar demographic pressures. Greg Ip, WSJ, "How Aging Japan Defied Demographics and Revived Its Economy," 11 Jan. 2019 Right on Cas Abou is B Diving and Watersports, which offers lessons for all ages and skill levels, certification, and equipment rentals; Ocean Encounters is another beloved school, and offers nighttime dives to see fluorescent fish. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 The whole story offers a very important lesson in stigma towards people who use drugs and drug addiction. German Lopez, Vox, "The simple idea that could help end America’s opioid epidemic," 26 Dec. 2018 The band were previously used as a social media lesson in science and many of their other appearances have become a treasure trove of GIFs. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "BTS's Jungkook Strutting Down a Runway Is Now a Hilarious Meme," 17 Dec. 2018 Below, watch as Jackson gets a lesson on how all music is essentially the same 12 notes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "OK, These New Clips From A Star Is Born Are Incredible," 7 Sep. 2018 In each destination, travelers will find hot spots for vegan meals and also get lessons in vegan cooking. Phil Marty, chicagotribune.com, "Adventures in vegan eating, a Canadian bucket list and more," 13 July 2018 For the past year, Bait al Nay has been working in communities across Jordan, hosting workshops that include lessons in how to play and construct the instrument. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "In rediscovered reed flute, a soulful link to Jordanian identity," 13 July 2018 Dancing Under the Stars Jack London Square presents its annual dance series offering lessons in various styles followed by a chance to try out your new moves. SFChronicle.com, "Events listings," 12 July 2018

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lesson

Noun

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

Statistics for lesson

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lesson

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lesson

lesson

noun

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

lesson

noun
les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lesson

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!