Definition of lesson in English:


Line breaks: les¦son
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 schoolingexercise, 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
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    • 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!
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    • 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
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    • 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 Back to top  
  • 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).

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