taught ˈtȯt How to pronounce teach (audio) ; teaching

transitive verb

: to cause to know something
taught them a trade
: to cause to know how
is teaching me to drive
: to accustom to some action or attitude
teach students to think for themselves
: to cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action
I'll teach you to come home late
: to guide the studies of
: to impart the knowledge of
teach algebra
: to instruct by precept, example, or experience
: to make known and accepted
experience teaches us our limitations
: to conduct instruction regularly in
teach school

intransitive verb

: to provide instruction : act as a teacher
Choose the Right Synonym for teach

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 teach in a Sentence

He enjoys teaching his students about history. She taught English for many years at the high school. The church teaches compassion and forgiveness. Someone needs to teach her right and wrong. The experience taught us that money doesn't mean everything. Her injury will teach her not to be so careless with a knife.
Recent Examples on the Web Lupe has also been teaching the course ‘Rap Studies’ at MIT in Cambridge, MA since 2022, and has also since been made a fellow at Yale, sharing his unique perspective on the industry at large. Angel Diaz, Billboard, 17 May 2024 His first coach, the one who taught him to play baseball, struggles to endure each day. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for teach 

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

Word History


Middle English techen to show, instruct, from Old English tǣcan; akin to Old English tācn sign — more at token entry 1

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near teach

Cite this Entry

“Teach.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teach. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


taught ˈtȯt How to pronounce teach (audio) ; teaching
: to assist in learning how to do something : show how
teach a child to read
: to guide the studies of : instruct
teach a class
: to give lessons in : instruct pupils in
teach music
: to be a teacher
: to cause to learn : cause to know the effects of an action
the experience taught him to be more careful

More from Merriam-Webster on teach

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