Definition of lesson in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈles(ə)n/


1An amount of teaching given at one time; a period of learning or teaching: an advanced lesson in math a driving lesson
More example sentences
  • With the first two lessons, students are learning right away that a sketchbook is not necessarily a book of drawings, but a tool for the artist to use in many different ways.
  • Many teachers elect to continue teaching private or group lessons during the summer.
  • Word quickly spread about the convenience and economy that could result from teaching survival lessons at a distance.
class, session, seminar, tutorial, lecture, period, period of instruction/teaching
exercises, assignments, schoolwork, homework, study
1.1A thing learned or to be learned by a student.
Example sentences
  • Today's object lesson is the coverage of a promising medical breakthrough.
  • Today had to start out with one of those little object lessons in manners.
  • Despite the fact that this lesson took several class periods to complete, I feel it was definitely worth it.
1.2A thing learned by experience: the tragedy is a lesson in disappointment
More example sentences
  • I had received a memorable lesson in the ability of inexplicable experience to produce powerful emotion.
  • Discover the hidden lesson in each experience to develop a profound understanding of life and yourself.
  • When you are constantly aware, every experience becomes a lesson in life.
1.3An occurrence, example, or punishment that serves or should serve to warn or encourage: let that be a lesson to you!
More example sentences
  • The epitaph of ancient democracy was a bitter legacy that should have served as a salutary lesson to all.
  • Such leaders seem impervious to the salutary lessons from the experience in East Asia where a commitment to growth-oriented policies led to sharp declines in poverty.
  • We must never forget the intensely human story of the lessons, warnings and inspirations that story holds for us today.
warning, deterrent, caution;
example, exemplar, message, moral
2A passage from the Bible read aloud during a church service, especially either of two readings at morning and evening prayer in the Anglican Church.
Example sentences
  • A few days after reading this report I opened my Bible to read the lesson for the daily office.
  • Although not a regular worshipper at St Mary's, he often read Christmas lessons at the church, and was heavily involved in the Thundridge community.
  • It is not achieved either, when one or two persons out of a crowd of hundreds read a lesson or take part in a prayer.
Bible reading, scripture, text, reading, passage


[with object] archaic
1Instruct or teach (someone).
1.1Admonish or rebuke (someone).



learn one's lesson

Acquire a greater understanding of the world through a particular unpleasant or stressful experience.
Example sentences
  • When will the occupiers learn their lesson and withdraw?
  • Perhaps this time around the Democrats will learn their lesson.
  • How will I learn my lesson if I forget what happened?

teach someone a lesson

Punish or hurt someone as a deterrent: they were teaching me a lesson for daring to complain
More example sentences
  • The Catalan region taught me a lesson in sobriety and discipline but also to love its freedom.
  • Therefore, it is not our intention to punish you, but rather to teach you a lesson.
  • Perhaps this will teach you a lesson, and be a warning for any of those thinking of rebelling.


Middle English: from Old French leçon, from Latin lectio (see lection).

Words that rhyme with lesson

Bresson, delicatessen, Essen, lessen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: les·son

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