Definition of teach in English:

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Pronunciation: /tēCH/

verb (pastand past participle taught /tôt/)

[with object and infinitiveor clause]
1Show or explain to (someone) how to do something: she taught him to read he taught me how to ride a bike
More example sentences
  • As well as the teacher having all the knowledge to teach the kids, the kids can actually help the teacher learn something.
  • I was happy to have family in the business to teach me the knowledge of the business.
  • The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys.
educate, instruct, school, tutor, coach, train;
enlighten, illuminate, verse, edify, indoctrinate;
drill, discipline
train, show, guide, instruct, explain to, demonstrate to
1.1 [with object] Give information about or instruction in (a subject or skill): he came one day each week to teach painting [with two objects]: she teaches me French
More example sentences
  • This guide contains all the skills and requirements as well as the background and reference information needed to teach the skills.
  • How the information and skills are taught are considered to be equally as important as the award itself.
  • Interventions can provide the information and teach the skills necessary to implement those strategies.
give lessons in, lecture in, be a teacher of;
demonstrate, instill, inculcate
1.2 [no object] Give such instruction professionally: she teaches at the local high school
More example sentences
  • Both of our teachers have taught in the public schools and consider this a much better situation.
  • This same person was the only participant in the study ever encouraged by another member of the academy to teach at a community college.
  • Many teachers are unqualified to teach according to local public school standards and most don't know how to relate to American-raised children.
1.3 [with object] Encourage someone to accept (something) as a fact or principle: the philosophy teaches self-control
More example sentences
  • The people growing up with these ideologies usually accept what they are taught.
  • By teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation's collective memory.
  • In 610 CE, the main principles of Islam were taught secretly.
1.4Cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience: she’d been taught that it paid to be passive my upbringing taught me never to be disrespectful to elders
More example sentences
  • The experience of many decades had taught us to understand that the black poor of our country valued a just peace as deeply as they valued their lives.
  • The experience taught me how much it's possible to learn away from home in a new environment.
  • Experience teaches us, however, that humility often departs when the remembrance of imperfections grows more distant.
1.5 informal Make (someone) less inclined to do something: “I’ll teach you to mess with young girls!”
More example sentences
  • That'll teach you to mess with the Tengon regime!
  • She'd teach him for messing with every girl he saw.
  • And that, my redneck cousin, will teach you to mess with a town boy!


A teacher.
Example sentences
  • I entered the class interrupting the lecture the teach was giving.
  • Everyone's eyes shift from the teach, Mrs. Stamos, to us.
  • I suppose they got annoyed when they came in with a hangover and the teach kicked them out.



teach someone a lesson

see lesson.

teach school

US Be a schoolteacher.
Example sentences
  • I had such affection for it as a kid, and I later taught school and high school out there for about seven years.
  • A shy, quiet boy who loved the outdoors, Thoreau graduated from Harvard College in 1837, taught school intermittently until 1841, then turned to writing as a career.
  • Alice Chipman Dewey had taught school before attending the University of Michigan.


Old English tǣcan 'show, present, point out', of Germanic origin; related to token, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek deiknunai 'show', and Latin dicere 'say'.

  • In Anglo-Saxon times to teach was at first ‘to present’ or ‘to point out’, although the idea of instructing someone soon developed. The word shares an ancient root with token. The proverb don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs has been in use since the 18th century as a caution against offering advice to someone wiser and more experienced than yourself. Sucking eggs was something thieves did on a farm, as to suck the centre from an egg on the spot is the quickest and safest way to eat it surreptitiously. Many similar expressions have been invented down the years, such as don't teach your grandmother how to steal sheep, with the shared idea that an older person knows a lot more about cunning dodges than you do. The assumption here is that the longer experience of the older person brings wisdom, but the saying you can't teach an old dog new tricks associates the knowledge of years with rigidity, and an inability to take new things on board.

Words that rhyme with teach

beach, beech, beseech, bleach, breach, breech, each, impeach, leach, leech, outreach, peach, pleach, preach, reach, screech, speech

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: teach

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