verb (learned; learning) Etymology: Middle English lernen, from Old English leornian; akin to Old High German lernēn to learn, Old English last footprint, Latin lira furrow, track Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. a. (1) to gain knowledge or understanding of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience <
learn a trade
(2) memorize <
learn the lines of a play
b. to come to be able <
learn to dance
c. to come to realize <
learned that honesty paid
2. a. nonstandard teach b. obsolete to inform of something 3. to come to know ; hear <
we just learned that he was ill
intransitive verb to acquire knowledge or skill or a behavioral tendency Synonyms: see discoverlearnable adjectivelearner noun Usage: Learn in the sense of “teach” dates from the 13th century and was standard until at least the early 19th <
made them drunk with true Hollands—and then learned them the art of making bargains — Washington Irving
. But by Mark Twain's time it was receding to a speech form associated chiefly with the less educated <
never done nothing for three months but set in his back yard and learn that frog to jump — Mark Twain
. The present-day status of learn has not risen. This use persists in speech, but in writing it appears mainly in the representation of such speech or its deliberate imitation for effect.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • learn — W1S1 [lə:n US lə:rn] v past tense and past participle learned or learnt [lə:nt US lə:rnt] especially BrE ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(subject/skill)¦ 2¦(find out)¦ 3¦(remember)¦ 4¦(change your behaviour)¦ 5 somebody has learned their lesson 6 learn (something) the …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • learn — [ lɜrn ] (past tense and past participle learned [ lɜrnt ] ) verb *** 1. ) intransitive or transitive to gain knowledge or experience of something, for example by being taught: a bright girl who is already learning the alphabet research into how… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • learn — learn; learn·able; learn·er; learn·ing; re·learn; un·learn; …   English syllables

  • learn — [lʉrn] vt. learned or Chiefly Brit. learnt, learning [ME lernen, to learn, teach < OE leornian (akin to Ger lernen) < WGmc * liznōn (akin to Goth laisjan, to teach) < IE base * leis , track, furrow > L lira, furrow] 1. to get… …   English World dictionary

  • Learn — Learn, v. i. To acquire knowledge or skill; to make progress in acquiring knowledge or skill; to receive information or instruction; as, this child learns quickly. [1913 Webster] Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. Matt. xi. 29. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • learn — lərn vb, learned lərnd, lərnt also learnt lərnt; learn·ing vt to acquire (a change in behavior) by learning vi to acquire a behavioral tendency by learning learn·er n …   Medical dictionary

  • learn — (v.) O.E. leornian to get knowledge, be cultivated, study, read, think about, from P.Gmc. *liznojan (Cf. O.Fris. lernia, M.Du. leeren, Du. leren, O.H.G. lernen, Ger. lernen to learn, Goth. lais I know ), with a base sense of to follow or find the …   Etymology dictionary

  • learn — verb. 1. The past form and past participle are in BrE either learned (pronounced lernd or lernt) or learnt (pronounced lernt); learned is more usual as the past form and, in AmE, as both past form and past participle. Examples: • So, what was… …   Modern English usage

  • learn — [v1] acquire information apprentice, attain, become able, become versed, be taught, be trained, brush up on*, burn midnight oil*, commit to memory, con, crack the books*, cram*, determine, drink in*, enroll, gain, get, get down pat*, get the hang …   New thesaurus

  • LEARN — may refer to:* Law Enforcement Agency Resource Network * Livestock Emissions Abatement Research Network …   Wikipedia

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