learn

[lurn]

verb (used with object), learned [lurnd] /lɜrnd/ or learnt, learn·ing.

verb (used without object), learned [lurnd] /lɜrnd/ or learnt, learn·ing.

to acquire knowledge or skill: to learn rapidly.
to become informed (usually followed by of): to learn of an accident.

Nearby words

  1. leapt,
  2. lear,
  3. lear board,
  4. lear complex,
  5. lear, edward,
  6. learn by heart,
  7. learn one's lesson,
  8. learn to live with,
  9. learnable,
  10. learned

Origin of learn

before 900; Middle English lernen, Old English leornian to learn, read, ponder (cognate with German lernen); akin to lesan to glean (cognate with German lesen to read). See lear

Related formslearn·a·ble, adjectivemis·learn, verb, mis·learned or mis·learnt, mis·learn·ing.out·learn, verb (used with object), out·learned or out·learnt, out·learn·ing.re·learn, verb, re·learned or re·learnt, re·learn·ing.

Can be confusedlearn teach

Synonym study

1. Learn, ascertain, detect, discover imply adding to one's store of facts. To learn is to add to one's knowledge or information: to learn a language. To ascertain is to verify facts by inquiry or analysis: to ascertain the truth about an event. To detect implies becoming aware of something that had been obscure, secret, or concealed: to detect a flaw in reasoning. To discover is used with objective clauses as a synonym of learn in order to suggest that the new information acquired is surprising to the learner: I discovered that she had been married before.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for learn


British Dictionary definitions for learn

learn

verb learns, learning, learned (lɜːnd) or learnt

(when tr, may take a clause as object) to gain knowledge of (something) or acquire skill in (some art or practice)
(tr) to commit to memory
(tr) to gain by experience, example, etc
(intr; often foll by of or about) to become informed; know
not standard to teach
Derived Formslearnable, adjective

Word Origin for learn

Old English leornian; related to Old High German lirnen

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

Word Origin and History for learn

learn

v.

Old English leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated, study, read, think about," from Proto-Germanic *liznojan (cf. Old Frisian lernia, Middle Dutch leeren, Dutch leren, Old High German lernen, German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know"), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE *leis- "track." Related to German Gleis "track," and to Old English læst "sole of the foot" (see last (n.)).

The transitive sense (He learned me how to read), now vulgar, was acceptable from c.1200 until early 19c., from Old English læran "to teach" (cf. Dutch leren, German lehren "to teach," literally "to make known;" see lore), and is preserved in past participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study." Related: Learning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with learn

learn

In addition to the idioms beginning with learn

  • learn by heart
  • learn one's lesson
  • learn to live with

also see:

  • by heart, learn
  • little knowledge (learning) is a dangerous thing
  • live and learn
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.