1 of 4

noun (1)

: an organization that provides instruction: such as
: an institution for the teaching of children
: a group of scholars and teachers pursuing knowledge together that with similar groups constituted a medieval university
: one of the four faculties of a medieval university
: an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university
the school of engineering
: an establishment offering specialized instruction
a secretarial school
driving schools
: the process of teaching or learning especially at a school
: attendance at a school
: a session of a school
: a school building
: the students attending a school
also : its teachers and students
: a source of knowledge
experience was his school
: a group of persons who hold a common doctrine or follow the same teacher (as in philosophy, theology, or medicine)
the Aristotelian school
also : the doctrine or practice of such a group
: a group of artists under a common influence
: a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior
also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group
other schools of thought
: the regulations governing military drill of individuals or units
also : the exercises carried out
the school of the soldier


2 of 4

verb (1)

schooled; schooling; schools

transitive verb

: to teach or drill in a specific knowledge or skill
well schooled in languages
: to discipline or habituate to something
school oneself in patience
: to educate in an institution of learning
The child was schooled at great cost to her family.


3 of 4

noun (2)

: a large number of fish or aquatic animals of one kind swimming together


4 of 4

verb (2)

schooled; schooling; schools

intransitive verb

: to swim or feed in a school
bluefish are schooling
Choose the Right Synonym for school

teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, school mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill.

teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn.

taught us a lot about our planet

instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching.

instructs raw recruits in military drill

educate implies development of the mind.

more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person

train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view.

trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft

discipline implies training in habits of order and precision.

a disciplined mind

school implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master.

schooled the horse in five gaits

Examples of school in a Sentence

Noun (1) one of the first schools in the country to admit girls as students Verb (1) schooled their children in proper etiquette for formal occasions
Recent Examples on the Web
Carroll schools Superintendent Cynthia McCabe said the renovation will improve the quality of existing programs but will do little to raise the school’s capacity. Thomas Goodwin Smith, Baltimore Sun, 24 May 2024 Reinstating Confederate Names: A school board in Virginia voted to restore the names of Confederate officers to schools in the district, rolling back a decision that was made after the killing of George Floyd prompted demands for a racial reckoning. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 24 May 2024 It’s believed to have evaded searchers by fleeing into woods near the school, rescuers told The Star. Natalie Wallington, Kansas City Star, 24 May 2024 The issue over selective enrollment schools revolves in part around school funding. Sarah MacAraeg, Chicago Tribune, 24 May 2024 On May 11, Bill and Melinda's eldest daughter Jennifer Gates, 28, graduated from medical school. Charmaine Patterson, Peoplemag, 24 May 2024 Some of the money will come from NCAA reserve funds and insurance but even though the lawsuit specifically targeted five conferences that are comprised of 69 schools (including Notre Dame), dozens of other NCAA member schools will see smaller distributions from the NCAA to cover the mammoth payout. Ralph D. Russo, Fortune, 24 May 2024 The attack served as a reminder of the ongoing violence by criminal armed gangs who since Feb. 29 have released thousands of inmates from two prisons, attacked police stations and schools and forced the shuttering of the airport and seaport. Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, 24 May 2024 Meanwhile, teen boys are finding tips on how to identify the perfect scent for school, the gym, and dates, on TikTok. Melissa Willets, Parents, 23 May 2024
That’s after the child care scholarship Bowman receives as a single parent going to school full time, getting ready to start an internship and raising two other children. Annie Jennemann, Baltimore Sun, 6 May 2024 When the day comes, Paris wants to marry a woman who's an adult — who has been to school herself. Nurith Aizenman, NPR, 12 May 2024 Panfish will school up and use their tails to fan out individual beds that are linked together in a honeycomb formation. Shaye Baker, Field & Stream, 9 May 2024 Many of the kids at Owyhee have been going to school with the same group of children for years. Becca Savransky, Idaho Statesman, 8 May 2024 In and out of jail, pregnant again A judge offered Wright to participate in the drug court program, which involved multiple weekly group meetings, random drug screenings, working or going to school full-time, weekly check-ins, and 100 hours of community service. Greg Wehner, Fox News, 8 May 2024 Coubertin’s Vision Image Coubertin, born in Paris in 1863, was raised in an aristocratic family and schooled in classical art and literature. John Branch, New York Times, 2 May 2024 There were some white parents who tried to send their kids to school with me. Nbc Universal, NBC News, 28 Apr. 2024 Local media were provided detailed briefings by party cadres typically schooled in deep secrecy. Charlie Campbell, TIME, 12 Apr. 2024

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

Word History


Noun (1)

Middle English scole, from Old English scōl, from Latin schola, from Greek scholē leisure, discussion, lecture, school; perhaps akin to Greek echein to hold — more at scheme entry 1

Noun (2)

Middle English scole, from Middle Dutch schole; akin to Old English scolu multitude and probably to Old English scylian to separate — more at skill entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1597, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of school was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near school

Cite this Entry

“School.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 noun
: a place or establishment for teaching and learning
public schools
a music school
: a faculty or division within an institution for higher education devoted to teaching, study, and research in a particular area of knowledge : college
school of law
graduate school
: a session of school
missed school yesterday
: the students or students and teachers of a school
the whole school was at the assembly
: a group of persons having the same opinions and beliefs or accepting the same methods or leaders
also : the shared opinions, beliefs, or methods of such a group


2 of 3 verb
: to teach or drill in a specific skill or area of knowledge
well schooled in languages
: to discipline or make used to something
school oneself in patience


3 of 3 noun
: a large number of water-dwelling animals of one kind (as fish) swimming together


Old English scōl "a place for learning," from Latin schola (same meaning), from Greek scholē "leisure, discussion, lecture, school"

Word Origin
The English word school comes from the Greek scholē. The original meaning of scholē was "leisure." To the Greeks it seemed natural that one's leisure should be spent learning and thinking. Scholē therefore came to mean not only "leisure" but also "a place for learning." Many Greeks were later employed by the Romans as teachers, and the Romans borrowed the Greek word as schola. The Latin word schola in time came into Old English as scōl.

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