W1S1 [lə:n US lə:rn] v past tense and past participle learned or learnt [lə:nt US lə:rnt] especially BrE
2¦(find out)¦
4¦(change your behaviour)¦
5 somebody has learned their lesson
6 learn (something) the hard way
7 that'll learn somebody!
[: Old English; Origin: leornian]
1.) ¦(SUBJECT/SKILL)¦ [I and T]
to gain knowledge of a subject or skill, by experience, by studying it, or by being taught
What's the best way to learn a language?
learn (how) to do sth
I learnt to drive when I was 17.
Hector spent the winter learning how to cope with his blindness.
The teacher's task is to help the pupil learn.
learn (sth) from sb
I learned a lot from my father.
learn about
Kids can have fun and learn about music at the same time.
learn what
Youngsters must learn what is dangerous and what is not to be feared.
The student will learn from experience about the importance of planning.
2.) ¦(FIND OUT)¦ [I and T] formal
to find out information or news by hearing it from someone else or reading it
I didn't tell her the truth. She would learn it for herself soon enough.
learn of/about
He learned about his appointment by telephone yesterday.
learn (that)
Last week I learned that I was pregnant.
She was surprised to learn that he was a lot older than she had thought.
learn whether/who/why
I waited to learn whether I'd secured a college place.
We have yet to learn who will be the new manager.
3.) ¦(REMEMBER)¦ [T]
to get to know something so well that you can easily remember it
The actors hardly had time to learn their lines before filming started.
to gradually understand a situation and start behaving in the way that you should
learn (that)
They have to learn that they can't just do whatever they like.
learn to do sth
Young hairdressers must learn to treat the client as a person, not a head of hair.
I've told him a hundred times not to bully people, but he never learns .
learn from
You have to learn from your mistakes (=understand why what you did was wrong) .
the lessons learned in the Gulf War
5.) sb has learned their lesson
used to say that someone will not do something wrong or stupid again, because they suffered as a result
I've learned my lesson; I've now got a burglar alarm and a guard dog.
6.) learn (sth) the hard way
to understand a situation or develop a skill by learning from your mistakes and bad experiences
7.) that'll learn sb!
spoken used when something bad has just happened to someone as a result of their actions, especially when they ignored a warning
live and learn atlive1 (20)
HINT sense 1
Do not say that you 'learn someone something' or 'learn someone how to do something'. Use teach: I taught him how to send an e-mail.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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´ed|ly — learn|ed «LUR nihd», adjective. showing or requiring knowledge; scholarly; erudite: »a learned professor, learned pursuits. SYNONYM(S): educated. –learn´ed|ly, adverb. –learn´ed|ness, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • learn|ed — «LUR nihd», adjective. showing or requiring knowledge; scholarly; erudite: »a learned professor, learned pursuits. SYNONYM(S): educated. –learn´ed|ly, adverb. –learn´ed|ness, noun …   Useful english 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

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