Word Origin & History
O.E. leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated," from P.Gmc. *liznojan (cf. O.Fris. lernia, O.H.G. lernen, Ger. lernen "to learn," Goth. lais "I know), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE *leis- "track." Related to Ger. Gleis "track," and to O.E. læst "sole of the foot"
(n.)). The transitive sense (He learned me how to read), now vulgar, was acceptable from c.1200 until early 19c., from O.E. læran "to teach" (cf. M.E. lere, Ger. lehren "to teach;" see lore
), and is preserved in the adj. learned "having knowledge gained by study" (c.1340).