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

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Synonyms for lesson

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mayfield knows the time is now with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry Mayfield provided a little lesson in economics this week on his Zoom call. cleveland, "Baker Mayfield buying into Kevin Stefanski’s program, Joe Woods open-minded at LB, and other Browns takeaways," 31 May 2020 Don't take criticism personally but see the lesson. oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 31, 2020: Cancer, you’re not in control; Capricorn, don’t borrow or lend this week," 31 May 2020 At the casa mora bakery in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a forkful of springy, fragrant almond cake taught us a history lesson — and an easier method for lightening flourless cakes. TheWeek, "The best cake to make if you're low on flour," 31 May 2020 Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, in a 23-minute speech Monday that was more stern civics lesson than announcement, likened the 37-year-old mayor's actions to an unrepentant child's. Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press, "Worthy makes Kilpatrick the first Detroit mayor to face felony counts," 30 May 2020 The graduating seniors took jet ski lessons prior to the big day. Fox News, "Key West high school follows coronavirus social distancing measures with Jet Ski graduation," 30 May 2020 The last two months have taught us valuable lessons in doing more with less. Quartz Staff, Quartz India, "Amid layoffs across industries, an Indian food brand is sticking to increments and upskilling," 28 May 2020 Finding the middle ground requires examining the data and incorporating lessons learned. John Delaney, WSJ, "A False Dilemma Fuels the Lockdown Wars," 28 May 2020 John Cochrane, an economist at Stanford's Hoover Institution, warns that the U.S. is ignoring the lessons from the financial crisis at great peril. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "The real risk isn’t the federal government’s exploding debt. It’s how it is structured that’s so dangerous," 28 May 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for lesson

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lesson

Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lesson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lesson. Accessed 7 Jun. 2020.

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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

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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

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