a section into which a course of study is divided, especially a single, continuous session of formal instruction in a subject: The manual was broken down into 50 lessons.
a part of a book, an exercise, etc., that is assigned to a student for study: The lesson for today is on page 22. He worked assiduously at his music lesson.
something to be learned or studied: the lessons of the past.
a useful piece of practical wisdom acquired by experience or study: That accident certainly taught him a lesson in careful driving.
something from which a person learns or should learn; an instructive example: Her faith should serve as a lesson to all of us.
a reproof or punishment intended to teach one better ways.
a portion of Scripture or other sacred writing read or appointed to be read at a divine service; lection; pericope.
verb (used with object)
to teach; instruct; give a lesson to.
to admonish or reprove.

1175–1225; Middle English lesso(u)n < Old French leçon < Latin lēctiōn- (stem of lēctiō) lection

lessen, lesson.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
lesson (ˈlɛsən)
1.  a.  a unit, or single period of instruction in a subject; class: an hour-long music lesson
 b.  the content of such a unit
2.  material assigned for individual study
3.  something from which useful knowledge or principles can be learned; example
4.  the principles, knowledge, etc, gained
5.  a reprimand or punishment intended to correct
6.  a portion of Scripture appointed to be read at divine service
7.  rare (tr) to censure or punish
[C13: from Old French leçon, from Latin lēctiō, from legere to read]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "a reading aloud from the Bible," also "something to be learned by a student," from O.Fr. leçon, from L. lectionem (nom. lectio) "a reading," from lectus, pp. of legere "to read" (see lecture). Transf. sense of "an occurrence from which something can be learned" is from 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see learn one's lesson; teach a lesson.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
In this lesson students will collect information about countries, then enter that information on a chart.
For background information on the topics included in this lesson, see the resource list at the bottom of this lesson plan.
Both groups were then given a lesson in how to solve problems of this sort.
The butterflies' similar appearance imparts the don't-eat-us lesson more
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