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
c : reprimand


lessoned; lessoning\ ˈle-​sə-​niŋ How to pronounce lesson (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 The driver of a $330,000 Ferrari 488 Pista in the Netherlands seems to have learned this lesson earlier this week. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, "Watch: A Ferrari Driver Crashes a One-Day-Old 488 Pista While Trying to Show Off," 7 May 2021 Few navies learned this lesson as well as Indonesia. Craig Hooper, Forbes, "The KRI Nanggala Tragedy: Old Subs Are Getting Pushed To The Limit," 27 Apr. 2021 And My Octopus Teacher taught us the most important lesson of all: Time was robbed! Darren Franich, EW.com, "What a weird Oscars: Review," 26 Apr. 2021 Educating the public is really what the Master Gardeners Association is all about, and while all gardens can teach a lesson, their own Marion Demonstration Garden offers actual classes on gardening in the Willamette Valley. oregonlive, "Salem is a garden paradise in spring: 13 gardens you can visit this season," 25 Apr. 2021 Mark never doubted Kelsey's athletic ability or drive, but at age four, the longtime coach took this moment to teach his daughter a lesson that would stay with her for life. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, "How Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell developed into one of the best scorers in the WNBA," 24 Apr. 2021 There will be science experiments to run and maintenance chores to perform, and Proctor plans to teach a college lesson from space. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, "Meet the Inspiration4 Team, the World's First Non-Astronaut Space Crew," 23 Apr. 2021 In their first experience at a live comedy show, Kyle and Samantha Hunt learned a valuable lesson: Having the best table in the house comes with a catch. Neal Justin, Star Tribune, "Local comedy clubs offer comfort in tough times," 22 Apr. 2021 But one man had to learn that lesson the hard way over the weekend. Chris Perkins, sun-sentinel.com, "Man allegedly burglarizes Broward Sheriff’s cars at Broward Sheriff’s Office," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Oregon tried to lesson the load on Verdell the past few springs, with last year’s practices cut short before full contact any way. oregonlive, "CJ Verdell, Travis Dye give Oregon Ducks one of the best running back duos in the Pac-12," 30 Mar. 2021 Regents were deciding whether to drop four men’s sports -- indoor and outdoor track, gymnastics and tennis -- as part of the athletic department’s attempt to lesson the financial blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic. oregonlive, "From a track perspective, Minnesota’s decision makes no sense. But that’s not the real problem: Oregon track & field rundown," 10 Oct. 2020 The Pac-12′s daily, rapid-response testing will lesson the risk of those kind of outbreaks within a team. oregonlive, "The Pac-12 is moving slowly to start a fall sports season, and that is a good thing: Issues & Answers," 19 Sep. 2020 In theory, the Pac-12′s greater resources and capability for frequent and rapid testing should lesson the risk. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks opting out of Pac-12′s delayed football season are making the right choice: Issues & Answers," 10 Sep. 2020 The fluted barrel, besides adding a distinctive look to the gun, helps lesson the overall weight to just under 8 pounds. Savage Arms, Field & Stream, "Savage’s Revolutionary Renegauge," 30 July 2020 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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lesson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lesson. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for lesson



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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