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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.
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 lectures
  • She soon became swamped with requests for interviews and lectures.
  • lectures on the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century in england.
  • He appears if the player resets the game without saving, and lectures them not to.
  • He travelled the world giving lectures, and received numerous honorary doctorates.
  • He also gave various series of lectures over the years, for which see lectures by peirce.
  • Instead all lectures will take place in other buildings around main campus.
  • His published courses of lectures have exercised a wide influence.
British Dictionary definitions for lectures


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 lectures



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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