book learning

See more synonyms for book learning on
  1. knowledge acquired by reading books, as distinguished from that obtained through observation and experience.
  2. formal education: She thought that common sense was just as important as book learning.

Origin of book learning

First recorded in 1580–90
Related formsbook-learn·ed [boo k-lur-nid, -lurnd] /ˈbʊkˌlɜr nɪd, -ˌlɜrnd/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for book-learning

Historical Examples of book-learning

  • 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.


    Charles Godfrey Leland

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

  • It was not the love of book-learning, still less the love of games, which drew him there.

    Victorian Worthies

    George Henry Blore

British Dictionary definitions for book-learning


  1. knowledge gained from books rather than from direct personal experience
  2. 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