American English

Definition of lesson noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1 a period of time in which someone is taught something She gives piano lessons. All new students are given lessons in/on how to use the library. I'm taking driving lessons. compare class Topic CollocationsEducationlearning acquire/get/lack experience/training/(an) education receive/provide somebody with training develop/design/plan a curriculum/course/program/syllabus give/go to/attend a class/lesson/lecture/seminar hold/run/conduct a class/seminar/workshop moderate/lead/facilitate a discussion sign up for/take a course/classes/lessonsschool go to/start preschool/kindergarten/nursery school be in the first, second, etc. grade (at school) study/take/drop history/chemistry/German, etc. finish/drop out of/quit school graduate from high school/collegeproblems at school be the victim/target of bullying/teasing skip/cut/ (informal) ditch class/school cheat on an exam/a test get/be given a detention (for doing something) be expelled from/be suspended from schoolwork and exams do your homework/a project on something work on/write/do/submit an essay/a dissertation/a thesis/an assignment/a paper finish/complete your dissertation/thesis/studies hand in/turn in your homework/essay/assignment/paper study/prepare/review/ (informal) cram for a test/an exam take/ (formal) sit for a test/an exam grade homework/a test do well on/ (informal) ace a test/an exam pass/fail/ (informal) flunk a test/an exam/a class/a course/a subjectcollege apply to/get into/go to/start college leave/graduate from college (with a degree in computer science)/law school study for/work towards a law degree/a degree in physics major/minor in biology/philosophy earn/receive/be awarded/get/have/hold a master's degree/a bachelor's degree/a Ph.D. in economics
  2. 2something that is intended to be learned The textbook is divided into 30 lessons. Other countries can teach us a lesson or two on industrial policy.
  3. 3an experience, especially an unpleasant one, that someone can learn from so that it does not happen again in the future a salutary lesson The accident taught me a lessonI'll never forget. We are still absorbing the harsh lessons of this disaster. It was a lesson not lost on (= learned well by) the team manager. lesson to somebody Let that be a lesson to you (= so that you do not make the same mistake again). Their openness was a terrific lesson to me. see also object lesson
  4. 4a passage from the Bible that is read to people during a church service The first lesson is taken from St. John's Gospel.
  5. Idioms
    learn your lesson
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    to learn what to do or not to do in the future because you have had a bad experience in the past
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lesson

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