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book learning

knowledge acquired by reading books, as distinguished from that obtained through observation and experience.
formal education:
She thought that common sense was just as important as book learning.
Origin of book learning
First recorded in 1580-90
Related forms
[boo k-lur-nid, -lurnd] /ˈbʊkˌlɜr nɪd, -ˌlɜrnd/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for book-learning
Historical Examples
  • There he plied his tasks so diligently that he excelled all in book-learning.

    Welsh Fairy Tales William Elliott Griffis
  • Especially was he contemptuous of the book-learning that gave the authorities their power.

    Vulcan's Workshop Harl Vincent
  • Sports should be as carefully looked to in early education as book-learning.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Life in China is not wholly made up of book-learning and commerce.

    The Civilization Of China Herbert A. Giles
  • It was not the love of book-learning, still less the love of games, which drew him there.

    Victorian Worthies

    George Henry Blore
  • They knew that book-learning often came in useful at a pinch, in spite of what their neighbours said.

    Dream Days Kenneth Grahame
  • Certainly the old contempt for "book-learning" is dying out.

    Change in the Village (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt
  • But Beach had no fondness for book-learning or fine clothes.

    Blue Ridge Country Jean Thomas
  • None of us was overburdened with book-learning or technical training, myself least of all.

    Many Fronts Lewis R. Freeman
  • But, he added, cultivation of the heart was not gained by book-learning.

    The Son of a Servant August Strindberg
British Dictionary definitions for book-learning


knowledge gained from books rather than from direct personal experience
formal education
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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