un·​learn | \ ˌən-ˈlərn How to pronounce unlearn (audio) \
unlearned; unlearning; unlearns

Definition of unlearn

transitive verb

1 : to put out of one's knowledge or memory
2 : to undo the effect of : discard the habit of

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Examples of unlearn in a Sentence

It is hard to unlearn bad habits. let's hope that over the summer I don't unlearn everything I learned over the course of this past year
Recent Examples on the Web And for veterans who have spent years trying to unlearn fear of public places, the virus has challenged a key premise of recovery: their safety. NBC news, "For veterans with PTSD, pandemic ‘feels a lot like wartime’," 6 Mar. 2021 The long struggle to unlearn ableism may have an unexpected side benefit. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, "How Giving Up Ableist Insults Can Help Heal Our Politics," 24 Feb. 2021 What’s more, Hollywood’s teachings are difficult to unlearn, especially for someone who got her start so young. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "Keira Knightley Is Calling Out “Horrible” Sex Scenes," 25 Jan. 2021 More than six decades passed before North Carolina began to officially unlearn that education. David W. Blight, The New York Review of Books, "An American Pogrom," 3 Nov. 2020 The controversy around stimming People who stim used to be encouraged to unlearn the behavior, sometimes with the help of therapy and/or medication. Lauren Rowello, Health.com, "Stimming: What This Behavior Is and Why People Do It," 1 Sep. 2020 Here’s the history to unlearn The 2004 drama which received three Golden Globe nods stars Hilary Swank, Frances O'Connor, Julia Ormond and Anjelica Huston. USA Today, "The roles of African American women in the fight to vote," 21 Aug. 2020 The only advice is to unlearn that there are poultry blends, steak blends, etc. Danielle Pointdujour, Travel + Leisure, "Meet Angel Gregorio, a Real-life Spice Girl Bringing Flavors of the World to D.C.," 10 July 2020 It was hosted by Las Guamas, a four-person collective that organizes a monthly meet-up to talk about, and unlearn, machismo. Victoria Stunt, Quartz, "How men in Latin America are unlearning machismo," 9 July 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for unlearn

Time Traveler

The first known use of unlearn was in the 15th century

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Statistics for unlearn

Last Updated

9 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Unlearn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unlearn. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for unlearn



English Language Learners Definition of unlearn

: to forget and stop doing (something, such as a habit) in a deliberate way because it is bad or incorrect

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