object lesson


ob·​ject lesson ˈäb-jikt- How to pronounce object lesson (audio)
: 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 Their history is an object lesson in the power and danger of reading itself. A.o. Scott, New York Times, 21 June 2023 Instead of a triumph, the J&J vaccine stands as kind of object lesson, as does Merck, which is said to have passed on Moderna’s vaccine and had its own efforts mothballed, as well as AstraZeneca, which licensed its vaccine from the University of Oxford but was beset by clinical trials snafus. Matthew Herper, STAT, 20 Dec. 2021 The pandemic was an object lesson in ecosystem application. Vincent Rutgers, Forbes, 23 Mar. 2023 In Leaf’s hands, Gia isn’t a case study or object lesson. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 29 Mar. 2023 How much of this was planned is unclear, but a subsequent scene in which Fielder calls the parents of the child actors to inform them of his new, fatherly involvement is another object lesson in the way that power can seep into even the most professedly intimate of nooks. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 8 Aug. 2022 Bound’s ability to learn from a near miss may turn out to be an object lesson, too. Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2023 The board’s torment should be an object lesson to any enterprise or organization contemplating doing business with DeSantis’ Florida. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2023 The Pentagon’s approach is an object lesson in how not to make choices in crafting a defense strategy. William Hartung, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'object lesson.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of object lesson was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near object lesson

Cite this Entry

“Object lesson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/object%20lesson. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition

object lesson

: a real example of how some general idea or role works
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