\ ˈtēch How to pronounce teach (audio) \
taught\ ˈtȯt How to pronounce taught (audio) \; 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 Williams taught kindergarten through sixth grade in English and Spanish from 1973 to 2013 in San Diego and South Bay schools. Lallia Allali, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Someone San Diego Should Know: Linda Williams," 16 Sep. 2019 In the Gospel from Luke Jesus is teaching in the synagogue where a crippled woman who could not stand up straight appears. Karen Zurawski, Houston Chronicle, "SUNDAY CONVERSATION: St. Paul’s Episcopal has a new rector," 15 Sep. 2019 Pete teaches some of them, in a class called Vibrations and Waves. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Planet walk’ puts some things in perspective," 14 Sep. 2019 In what’s bound to be an iconic moment, Diamond teaches newcomer Destiny (Wu) how to give a lap dance that men will spend big bucks on again and again. Aly Semigran, Billboard, "Here Is Everything Cardi B and Lizzo Do in 'Hustlers'," 13 Sep. 2019 For this workshop, Gutnick teaches students all about the shofar and then demonstrates the process of making one, which includes sawing, drilling, sanding and polishing. Sergio Carmona, sun-sentinel.com, "Honey bee workshop gets children busy for Rosh Hashanah," 13 Sep. 2019 In a long academic career, Dr. Smith had taught at Marshall University in Huntington for 12 years. New York Times, "Jean Edward Smith, Biographer of the Underrated, Dies at 86," 13 Sep. 2019 Three of the members, including an ever-so-patient Kihyun, also taught our producer Mel how to say perfume, soap, and sheet mask in Korean, while others instructed everyone on set how to do their favorite workout move. Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Group Monsta X Taught Us to Say "Sheet Mask" in Korean," 6 Sep. 2019 At the time of his arrest, Sigler taught fifth grade in the Burbank Unified School District at Bret Harte Elementary. Andy Nguyen, Burbank Leader, "Ex-Burbank teacher pleads guilty to making child pornography with former students," 5 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler for teach

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for teach

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Teach.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teach?src=search-dict-hed. Accessed 22 November 2019.

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More Definitions for teach


How to pronounce teach (audio)

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 How to pronounce teach (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on teach

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for teach

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with teach

Spanish Central: Translation of teach

Nglish: Translation of teach for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of teach for Arabic Speakers

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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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