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learn

[lurn] /lɜrn/
verb (used with object), learned
[lurnd] /lɜrnd/ (Show IPA)
or learnt, learning.
1.
to acquire knowledge of or skill in by study, instruction, or experience:
to learn French; to learn to ski.
2.
to become informed of or acquainted with; ascertain:
to learn the truth.
3.
to memorize:
He learned the poem so he could recite it at the dinner.
4.
to gain (a habit, mannerism, etc.) by experience, exposure to example, or the like; acquire:
She learned patience from her father.
5.
(of a device or machine, especially a computer) to perform an analogue of human learning with artificial intelligence.
6.
Nonstandard. to instruct in; teach.
verb (used without object), learned
[lurnd] /lɜrnd/ (Show IPA)
or learnt, learning.
7.
to acquire knowledge or skill:
to learn rapidly.
8.
to become informed (usually followed by of):
to learn of an accident.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English lernen, Old English leornian to learn, read, ponder (cognate with German lernen); akin to lesan to glean (cognate with German lesen to read). See lear
Related forms
learnable, adjective
mislearn, verb, mislearned or mislearnt, mislearning.
outlearn, verb (used with object), outlearned or outlearnt, outlearning.
relearn, verb, relearned or relearnt, relearning.
Can be confused
learn, teach.
Synonym Study
1. Learn, ascertain, detect, discover imply adding to one's store of facts. To learn is to add to one's knowledge or information: to learn a language. To ascertain is to verify facts by inquiry or analysis: to ascertain the truth about an event. To detect implies becoming aware of something that had been obscure, secret, or concealed: to detect a flaw in reasoning. To discover is used with objective clauses as a synonym of learn in order to suggest that the new information acquired is surprising to the learner: I discovered that she had been married before.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for outlearn

learn

/lɜːn/
verb learns, learning, learned (lɜːnd), learnt
1.
(when transitive, may take a clause as object) to gain knowledge of (something) or acquire skill in (some art or practice)
2.
(transitive) to commit to memory
3.
(transitive) to gain by experience, example, etc
4.
(intransitive; often foll by of or about) to become informed; know
5.
(not standard) to teach
Derived Forms
learnable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English leornian; related to Old High German lirnen
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 outlearn

learn

v.

Old English leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated, study, read, think about," from Proto-Germanic *liznojan (cf. Old Frisian lernia, Middle Dutch leeren, Dutch leren, Old High German lernen, German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know"), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE *leis- "track." Related to German Gleis "track," and to Old English læst "sole of the foot" (see last (n.)).

The transitive sense (He learned me how to read), now vulgar, was acceptable from c.1200 until early 19c., from Old English læran "to teach" (cf. Dutch leren, German lehren "to teach," literally "to make known;" see lore), and is preserved in past participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study." Related: Learning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with outlearn
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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