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 For dispirited Republicans, though, this British revolution has become an object lesson in how a center-right party can stand up to a wayward leader. Mark Landler, BostonGlobe.com, "Brexit uprising poses contrast to the GOP," 7 Sep. 2019 The achievement is bad for Hungarian liberty and its long-term prospects—and an object lesson in what is possible for autocrats and would-be autocrats elsewhere. The Economist, "How Viktor Orban hollowed out Hungary’s democracy," 29 Aug. 2019 Venice offers an object lesson in making memorable places: Its buildings, even the Doge’s Palace, aren’t stand-alone objects. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Back from Venice, with a fresh take on Chicago’s Venetian Gothic dazzler at 12 S. Michigan," 12 July 2019 The story used Applegate as an object lesson, showing how easily legitimate businessmen could get involved, purposely or accidentally, with Mafia figures. AZCentral.com, "Don Bolles files: Were the popular Hobo Joe's coffee shops connected to the Mafia?," 30 July 2019 The First Red Scare passed into public memory as an object lesson on the consequences of handing over the machinery of government to demagogues. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Trump’s Day of Terror," 12 July 2019 Here, too, gay men can be deployed as an object lesson. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Cruising in the Age of Consent," 19 June 2019 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 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

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.

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First Known Use of object lesson

1831, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for object lesson

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The first known use of object lesson was in 1831

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Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Object lesson.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/object%20lesson. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for object lesson

object lesson

How to pronounce object lesson (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of object lesson

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

Comments on object lesson

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a period of high artistic development

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