les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lesson (audio) \

Definition of lesson

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a passage from sacred writings read in a service of worship
2a : a piece of instruction
b : a reading or exercise to be studied by a pupil
c : a division of a course of instruction
3a : something learned by study or experience his years of travel had taught him valuable lessons
b : an instructive example the lessons of history
c : reprimand


lessoned; lessoning\ ˈle-​sə-​niŋ How to pronounce lesson (audio) , ˈles-​niŋ \

Definition of lesson (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give a lesson to : instruct

Synonyms for lesson

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of lesson in a Sentence

Noun You can't go out to play until you've finished your lessons. The book is divided into 12 lessons. She took piano lessons for years. political leaders who have failed to learn the lessons of history I've learned my lesson—I'll never do that again! Let that be a lesson to you—if you don't take better care of your toys they'll get broken! Verb would tirelessly lesson the children in proper manners See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But financial advisors say all couples can learn a lesson from the A-Lister’s blunder: discuss major financial decisions together prior to making them. Kaitlyn Koterbski, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2022 On Wednesday, prosecutors said Castillo killed Perry to teach her a lesson. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Aug. 2022 Kutcher told Grylls the situation taught him a lesson in perseverance. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 9 Aug. 2022 People who skip voting in primaries could take a lesson from Macomb County. Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press, 3 Aug. 2022 And president Joe Biden’s second round, a positive test has a lesson in it. Laura Johnston, cleveland, 3 Aug. 2022 Two years is a long time to learn any managerial lesson. Steve Gickling, Forbes, 5 July 2022 Anyone thinking Boston is out after Game 6 didn’t learn the lesson of the Heat after Game 5. Dave Hyde, Sun Sentinel, 28 May 2022 Republicans are trying to learn a lesson from the past three party primaries for governor when the candidates spent huge amounts of money blasting each other. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 22 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Wray did not explain how the FBI deduced a connection between Chinese efforts to lesson the effects of sanctions and any potential planning for an invasion of Taiwan. Devlin Barrett, Washington Post, 6 July 2022 Democrats are battling among themselves over how, and whether, to lesson some of these curbs. Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2022 Oregon tried to lesson the load on Verdell the past few springs, with last year’s practices cut short before full contact any way. oregonlive, 30 Mar. 2021 Regents were deciding whether to drop four men’s sports -- indoor and outdoor track, gymnastics and tennis -- as part of the athletic department’s attempt to lesson the financial blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic. oregonlive, 10 Oct. 2020 The Pac-12′s daily, rapid-response testing will lesson the risk of those kind of outbreaks within a team. oregonlive, 19 Sep. 2020 In theory, the Pac-12′s greater resources and capability for frequent and rapid testing should lesson the risk. oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2020 The fluted barrel, besides adding a distinctive look to the gun, helps lesson the overall weight to just under 8 pounds. Savage Arms, Field & Stream, 30 July 2020 To lesson their harmful impact on the environment, 35 Starbucks stores began charging customers who use the paper cups on Monday, February 26. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, 27 Feb. 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lesson.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lesson


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lesson


Middle English, from Anglo-French leçon, from Late Latin lection-, lectio, from Latin, act of reading, from legere to read — more at legend

Learn More About lesson

Time Traveler for lesson

Time Traveler

The first known use of lesson was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near lesson




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lesson

Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lesson.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lesson. Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for lesson


les·​son | \ ˈle-sᵊn How to pronounce lesson (audio) \

Kids Definition of lesson

1 : something learned or taught Travels to other countries taught him valuable lessons.
2 : a single class or part of a course of instruction music lessons

More from Merriam-Webster on lesson

Nglish: Translation of lesson for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lesson for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!