Definition of teach in English:


Syllabification: teach
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.
enlighten, illuminate, verse, edify, indoctrinate;
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!


informal Back to top  
A teacher.
More 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.


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'.


teach someone a lesson

see lesson.

teach school

US Be a schoolteacher.
More 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.

Definition of teach in: