object lesson

ob·​ject lesson | \ ˈäb-jikt- How to pronounce object lesson (audio) , -(ˌ)jekt-\

Definition of object lesson

: something that serves as a practical example of a principle or abstract idea

Examples of object lesson in a Sentence

His life story is an object lesson in how not to run a business.

Recent Examples on the Web

As such, their success offers an instructive object lesson for up-and-comers seeking a magic formula to make it in the music business. Dan Deluca, Philly.com, "Are Parquet Courts the best American indie rock band of the decade?," 1 June 2018 He is held up as a tragedy, a beacon of hope and an object lesson. Richard PÉrez-peÑa, New York Times, "Fight Over Care of Brain-Damaged Baby Divides Britain," 26 Apr. 2018 Goodbye to Hope Hicks, an object lesson in the quickest way a woman can advance under misogyny: silence, beauty, and unconditional deference to men. Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times, "Trump Is ‘Losing a Limb’ With the Departure of Hope Hicks," 1 Mar. 2018 And Vogtle has turned from a showcase of a new generation of nuclear power into an object lesson in the financial risk of a private company trying to build a nuclear-power plant. Russell Gold, WSJ, "Southern Co. Earnings Hurt by Cost Overruns at Nuclear-Power Plant," 8 Aug. 2018 The white tubular steel outlines, award-winning examples of playful placemaking that allow visitors to reconstruct the buildings in their imaginations, have become icons and object lessons for architecture students. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Masterpieces of Robert Venturi, a postmodern architecture icon," 20 Sep. 2018 The battle is an object lesson in the difficult conditions under which many Afghan troops fight and the inability of their military to support and resupply them — especially when forces are stretched thin by a big fight with the Taliban elsewhere. Rod Nordland, The Seattle Times, "The Afghan army’s last stand at Chinese Camp," 14 Aug. 2018 That should really be an object lesson for everyone considering this concept going forward. Ed Wallace, star-telegram, "Little Shared Vehicles," 29 June 2018 Lucas Duplan, who founded Clinkle and made it into an object lesson in Silicon Valley overhype, is plotting a return. Erin Griffith, WIRED, "Another Failed Silicon Valley Exec Gets a Crypto Project," 22 June 2018

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

1831, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about object lesson

Statistics for object lesson

Last Updated

4 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for object lesson

The first known use of object lesson was in 1831

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for object lesson

object lesson


English Language Learners Definition of object lesson

: an example from real life that teaches a lesson or explains something

Comments on object lesson

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


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

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

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!