\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

West teaches other cyclists how to be safe navigating the urban environment. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Will Kansas City ever be bike-friendly? The city is about to roll out a plan," 13 July 2018 Through the program, the Soroptimists teach classes over several weeks for 10 to 15 girls referred to them by their school counselors. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Pomerado News, "Ginny Brown is leading North San Diego Soroptimists," 13 July 2018 STEPS Performing Arts teaches tap dance, and the show gives those students a chance to shine. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "STEPs features two shows in one weekend: 'The Wizard of Oz' and '42nd Street'," 11 July 2018 To teach police officers how to play into these conversations, Grant’s course on becoming a 14-year-old girl throws its students in at the deep end. Chris Stokel-walker, The Atlantic, "The Linguist Who Helps Police Catch Child Predators," 10 July 2018 Teen Miss contestant MacKenzie Nolan, who wants to become a veterinarian, answered that the most important lesson her parents taught her was how to be a good person in general. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Megan Kelly crowned 2018 Miss Ramona," 10 July 2018 God put a few relationships in my life to teach me and to help me grow but they were never meant to be forever. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "Savannah Chrisley Stars in Emotional Country Music Video With Boyfriend Nic Kerdiles," 10 July 2018 Each discovery has taught us more about how planets form, how many kinds of planets there are, and even how our planet came to be. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "NASA put its famous planet-hunting telescope to sleep because it’s almost out of fuel," 6 July 2018 John Regan, who taught in Coventry schools for 37 years and became an expert in American Colonial houses and furniture, died on Oct. 5 at age 78. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "He Brought His Skill For Teaching, Knack For Colonial Buildings To Coventry," 15 July 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

10 Nov 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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Comments on teach

What made you want to look up teach? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


by force of circumstances

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