Learn Learn (l[~e]rn), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Learned} (l[~e]rnd), or {Learnt} (l[~e]rnt); p. pr. & vb. n. {Learning}.] [OE. lernen, leornen, AS. leornian; akin to OS. lin[=o]n, for lirn[=o]n, OHG. lirn[=e]n, lern[=e]n, G. lernen, fr. the root of AS. l[=ae]ran to teach, OS. l[=e]rian, OHG. l[=e]ran, G. lehren, Goth. laisjan, also Goth lais I know, leis acquainted (in comp.); all prob. from a root meaning, to go, go over, and hence, to learn; cf. AS. leoran to go. Cf. {Last} a mold of the foot, {lore}.] 1. To gain knowledge or information of; to ascertain by inquiry, study, or investigation; to receive instruction concerning; to fix in the mind; to acquire understanding of, or skill; as, to learn the way; to learn a lesson; to learn dancing; to learn to skate; to learn the violin; to learn the truth about something. ``Learn to do well.'' --Is. i. 17. [1913 Webster]

Now learn a parable of the fig tree. --Matt. xxiv. 32. [1913 Webster]

2. To communicate knowledge to; to teach. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Hast thou not learned me how To make perfumes ? --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Note: Learn formerly had also the sense of teach, in accordance with the analogy of the French and other languages, and hence we find it with this sense in Shakespeare, Spenser, and other old writers. This usage has now passed away. To learn is to receive instruction, and to teach is to give instruction. He who is taught learns, not he who teaches. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


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