Definition of lesson in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈlɛs(ə)n/


1A period of learning or teaching: an advanced lesson in maths a driving lesson
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  • 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, period of teaching, period of coaching, period of tutoring, period of schooling
exercise, assignment, school task, drill;
(lessons) school work, homework
1.1A thing learned or to be learned by a pupil: he had a facility for languages and had learned his lessons well
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  • 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: lessons should have been learned from two similar collisions
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.
knowledge, wisdom, enlightenment, experience, truths
1.3An experience or event that serves as a warning or encouragement: 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, precept
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: he went up to read the first lesson
More 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, Bible passage, scripture, text, reading


[with object] archaic
1Instruct or teach (someone): [with object and clause]: Metaneone had beforehand lessoned him what he should say
1.1Rebuke (someone): Oedipus has been lessoned to humility before the throne of Zeus


teach someone a lesson

Punish or hurt someone as a deterrent or warning: 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
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