\ ˈtēch \
taught\ˈtȯt \; teaching

Definition of teach 

transitive verb

1a : to cause to know something taught them a trade

b : to cause to know how is teaching me to drive

c : to accustom to some action or attitude teach students to think for themselves

d : to cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action I'll teach you to come home late

2 : to guide the studies of

3 : to impart the knowledge of teach algebra

4a : to instruct by precept, example, or experience

b : to make known and accepted experience teaches us our limitations

5 : to conduct instruction regularly in teach school

intransitive verb

: to provide instruction : act as a teacher

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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

teach, instruct, and train mean to cause to gain knowledge or skill. teach can be used of any method of passing on information or skill so that others may learn. She agreed to teach me how to play. instruct is used when the teaching is done in a formal or orderly manner. Teachers will instruct all students in the sciences. train is used for instruction with a particular purpose in mind. An engineer trained workers to operate the new machines.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

My father, who had died 13 years earlier, taught me how to garden. Sandra A. Miller, BostonGlobe.com, "The neighbor who helped us put down roots in a garden," 13 July 2018 Lee Franklin Executive coach at California Leadership Center Mr. Franklin taught her that effective leaders understand the importance of telling the truth without blame. Joann S. Lublin, WSJ, "Intuit’s Marianna Tessel on Her Trusted Advisers," 11 July 2018 And maybe most important for an only child like me, college taught me how to build social capital. Chris Hughes, Town & Country, "Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Explains Why There's No Substitute for the College Experience," 10 July 2018 We get taught that letting your voice be heard is enough. Ryan Smith, Chicago Reader, "Film / Music / Politics Boots Riley on the ‘regular’ revolutionary messages of his radical debut film," 6 July 2018 The classes are taught on a volunteer basis by yoga instructors who have been trained in the ETI method. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "This Yoga Program Helps Victims of Domestic Violence Heal," 5 July 2018 My mother was taught to type, to learn shorthand and to wear clothes that pleased her male bosses. Deborah Levy, The Cut, "The Cost of Living," 1 July 2018 Weekly Ongoing Watercolor Class: Ongoing watercolor classes are taught using a step by step paint-along method which students of all levels, including beginners, find fun and easy to follow. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 26 June 2018 According to the biography, he’s taught firearm and use-of-force classes within the public and private sectors since 2007. Youssef Rddad, The Seattle Times, "Officials ID Minneapolis cops involved in fatal shooting," 26 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'teach.' 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 teach

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

History and Etymology for teach

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

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Learn More about teach

Statistics for teach

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for teach

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

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More Definitions for teach



English Language Learners Definition of teach

: to cause or help (someone) to learn about a subject by giving lessons

: to give lessons about (a particular subject) to a person or group

: to cause or help (a person or animal) to learn how to do something by giving lessons, showing how it is done, etc.


\ ˈtēch \
taught\ˈtȯt \; teaching

Kids Definition of teach

1 : to help in learning how to do something : show how He taught me to swim.

2 : to guide the studies of A substitute is teaching the class today.

3 : to give lessons in She teaches math.

4 : to cause to know the unpleasant results of something That will teach you to talk back.

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