View synonyms for study


[ stuhd-ee ]


, plural stud·ies.
  1. application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, such as by reading, investigation, or reflection:

    Long hours of study had made her an expert.

    Synonyms: consideration, thought, reading, research, inquiry

  2. the cultivation of a particular branch of learning, science, or art:

    The study of law is challenging for many.

  3. Often studies. a personal effort to gain knowledge:

    She made many sacrifices to pursue her studies.

  4. something the mind is or will be applied to:

    Balzac's study was human nature.

  5. research or a detailed examination and analysis of a subject, phenomenon, etc.:

    She made a study of the transistor market for her firm.

  6. a written account of detailed research, examination, or analysis:

    He published a study of Milton's poetry.

  7. a well-defined, organized branch of learning or knowledge.

    Synonyms: area, field, subject

  8. zealous endeavor or assiduous effort.
  9. the object of endeavor or effort.
  10. deep thought, reverie, or a state of abstraction:

    He was lost in study and did not hear us come in.

  11. a room, in a house or other building, set apart for private intellectual effort, reading, writing, or the like.

    Synonyms: den, library

  12. Also called étude. Music. a composition that combines exercise in technique with a greater or lesser amount of artistic value.
  13. Literature.
    1. a literary composition executed for exercise or as an experiment in a particular method of treatment.
    2. such a composition dealing in detail with a particular subject, as a single main character.
  14. Art. something produced as an educational exercise, as a memorandum or record of observations or effects, or as a guide for a finished production:

    She made a quick pencil sketch of his hands as a study for the full portrait in oils.

  15. a person, such as an actor, considered in terms of their quickness or slowness in memorizing lines:

    He's always been a quick study.

verb (used without object)

, stud·ied, stud·y·ing.
  1. to apply oneself to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or practice.
  2. to apply oneself; endeavor.
  3. to think deeply, reflect, or consider.
  4. to take a course of learning, as at a college.

verb (used with object)

, stud·ied, stud·y·ing.
  1. to apply oneself to acquiring a knowledge of (a subject).
  2. to examine or investigate carefully and in detail:

    to study the political situation.

  3. to observe attentively; scrutinize:

    to study a person's face.

  4. to read carefully or intently:

    to study a book.

  5. to endeavor to learn or memorize, as a part in a play.
  6. to consider, as something to be achieved or devised.
  7. to think out, as the result of careful consideration or devising.


/ ˈstʌdɪ /


  1. to apply the mind to the learning or understanding of (a subject), esp by reading

    to study languages

    to study all night

  2. tr to investigate or examine, as by observation, research, etc

    to study the effects of heat on metal

  3. tr to look at minutely; scrutinize
  4. tr to give much careful or critical thought to
  5. to take a course in (a subject), as at a college
  6. tr to try to memorize

    to study a part for a play

  7. intr to meditate or contemplate; reflect


    1. the act or process of studying
    2. ( as modifier )

      study group

  1. a room used for studying, reading, writing, etc
  2. often plural work relating to a particular discipline

    environmental studies

  3. an investigation and analysis of a subject, situation, etc

    a study of transport provision in rural districts

  4. a product of studying, such as a written paper or book
  5. a drawing, sculpture, etc, executed for practice or in preparation for another work
  6. a musical composition intended to develop one aspect of performing technique

    a study in spiccato bowing

  7. theatre a person who memorizes a part in the manner specified

    a quick study

  8. in a brown study
    in a reverie or daydream

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Other Words From

  • studi·a·ble adjective
  • studi·er noun
  • non·study noun plural nonstudies
  • outstudy verb (used with object) outstudied outstudying
  • pre·study verb (used with object) prestudied prestudying noun plural prestudies
  • re·study noun plural restudies verb restudied restudying

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Word History and Origins

Origin of study1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English noun studi(e), from Old French estudie, from Latin studium, equivalent to stud(ēre) “to be busy with, devote oneself to, concentrate on” + -ium -ium; verb ultimately derivative of Latin noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of study1

C13: from Old French estudie, from Latin studium zeal, inclination, from studēre to be diligent

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Idioms and Phrases

see brown study .

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Synonym Study

Study, consider, reflect, weigh imply fixing the mind upon something, generally doing so with a view to some decision or action. Study implies an attempt to obtain a grasp of something by methodical or exhaustive thought: to study a problem. To consider is to fix the thought upon something and give it close attention before making a decision concerning it, or beginning an action connected with it: to consider ways and means. Reflect implies looking back quietly over past experience and giving it consideration: to reflect on similar cases in the past. Weigh implies a deliberate and judicial estimate, as by a balance: to weigh a decision.

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Example Sentences

She completed a yoga teacher-training program and, in the spring of 2008, went on a retreat in Peru to study with shamans.

In fact, in a recent study of their users internationally, it was the lowest priority for most.

But in the case of black women, another study found no lack of interest.

Indeed, study after study affirms the benefits of involved fatherhood for women and children.

A recent U.S. study found men get a “daddy bonus” —employers seem to like men who have children and their salaries show it.

"There's just one thing I'd like to ask, if you don't mind," said Cynthia, coming suddenly out of a brown study.

His lordship retired shortly to his study, Hetton and Mr. Haggard betook themselves to the billiard-room.

She began the study of drawing at the age of thirty, and her first attempt in oils was made seven years later.

In practice we find a good deal of technical study comes into the college stage.

Its backbone should be the study of biology and its substance should be the threshing out of the burning questions of our day.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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