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[lek-cher] /ˈlɛk tʃər/
a speech read or delivered before an audience or class, especially for instruction or to set forth some subject:
a lecture on Picasso's paintings.
a speech of warning or reproof as to conduct; a long, tedious reprimand.
verb (used without object), lectured, lecturing.
to give a lecture or series of lectures:
He spent the year lecturing to various student groups.
verb (used with object), lectured, lecturing.
to deliver a lecture to or before; instruct by lectures.
to rebuke or reprimand at some length:
He lectured the child regularly but with little effect.
Origin of lecture
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin lēctūra a reading. See lection, -ure
Related forms
prelecture, noun, adjective, verb, prelectured, prelecturing.
unlectured, adjective
1. address, talk, paper, oratim, discourse. 4. address, teach. 5. admonish; hector. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lecture
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But for that fatal omission, the lecture was, of its kind, good.

    Demos George Gissing
  • As for you, Tom, your lecture room's over there, and I'll get the foreman to introduce you.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • The lecture platform of 1878 stood at as high a level as ever.

    The Story of Chautauqua Jesse Lyman Hurlbut
  • There's going to be some sort of lecture here, today, isn't there?

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • With the death of the King, I bring this lecture to a close.

British Dictionary definitions for lecture


a discourse on a particular subject given or read to an audience
the text of such a discourse
a method of teaching by formal discourse
a lengthy reprimand or scolding
to give or read a lecture (to an audience or class)
(transitive) to reprimand at length
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin lectūra reading, from legere to read
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for lecture

late 14c., "action of reading, that which is read," from Medieval Latin lectura "a reading, lecture," from Latin lectus, past participle of legere "to read," originally "to gather, collect, pick out, choose" (cf. election), from PIE *leg- "to pick together, gather, collect" (cf. Greek legein "to say, tell, speak, declare," originally, in Homer, "to pick out, select, collect, enumerate;" lexis "speech, diction;" logos "word, speech, thought, account;" Latin lignum "wood, firewood," literally "that which is gathered").

To read is to "pick out words." Meaning "action of reading (a lesson) aloud" is from 1520s. That of "a discourse on a given subject before an audience for purposes of instruction" is from 1530s.


1580s, from lecture (n.). Meaning "to address severely and at length" is from 1706. Related: Lectured; lecturing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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