noun (1)
\ ˈskül How to pronounce school (audio) \

Definition of school

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : an organization that provides instruction: such as
a : an institution for the teaching of children
c(1) : a group of scholars and teachers pursuing knowledge together that with similar groups constituted a medieval university
(2) : one of the four faculties of a medieval university
(3) : an institution for specialized higher education often associated with a university the school of engineering
d : an establishment offering specialized instruction a secretarial school driving schools
2a(1) : the process of teaching or learning especially at a school
(2) : attendance at a school
(3) : a session of a school
b : a school building
c : the students attending a school also : its teachers and students
3 : a source of knowledge experience was his school
4a : 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
b : a group of artists under a common influence
c : a group of persons of similar opinions or behavior also : the shared opinions or behavior of such a group other schools of thought
5 : the regulations governing military drill of individuals or units also : the exercises carried out the school of the soldier


verb (1)
schooled; schooling; schools

Definition of school (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to teach or drill in a specific knowledge or skill well schooled in languages
b : to discipline or habituate to something school oneself in patience
2 : to educate in an institution of learning The child was schooled at great cost to her family.


noun (2)

Definition of school (Entry 3 of 4)

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


verb (2)
schooled; schooling; schools

Definition of school (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

: to swim or feed in a school bluefish are schooling

Choose the Right Synonym for school

Verb (1)

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

First Known Use of school

Noun (1)

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

History and Etymology for school

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

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Time Traveler for school

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

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Cite this Entry

“School.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for school


\ ˈskül How to pronounce school (audio) \

Kids Definition of school

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a place for teaching and learning
2 : a session of teaching and learning night school You'll be late for school.
4 : the teachers and pupils of a school The entire school was at the rally.
5 : a group of persons who share the same opinions and beliefs a new school of philosophy


schooled; schooling

Kids Definition of school (Entry 2 of 3)

: teach sense 2, train Has he been schooled in proper behavior?



Kids Definition of school (Entry 3 of 3)

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


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