American English

Definition of teach verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they teach
    he / she / it teaches
    past simple taught
    -ing form teaching
    jump to other results
  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to give lessons to students in a school, college, university, etc.; to help someone learn something by giving information about it She teaches at our local high school. He taught for several years before becoming a writer. teach something I'll be teaching history and sociology next semester. to teach school (= teach in a school) teach something to somebody He teaches English to advanced students. teach somebody something He teaches them English.
  2. 2[transitive] to show someone how to do something so that they will be able to do it themselves teach (somebody to do) something Could you teach me to do that? teach somebody how, what, etc… My father taught me how to ride a bike.
  3. 3[transitive] to make someone feel or think in a different way teach somebody to do something She taught me to be less critical of other people. teach (somebody) that… My parents taught me that honesty was always the best policy. teach somebody something Our experience as refugees taught us many valuable lessons.
  4. 4[transitive, no passive] (informal) to persuade someone not to do something again by making them suffer so much that they are afraid to do it teach somebody to do something Lost all your money?That'll teach you to gamble. I'll teach you to call (= punish you for calling) me a liar! teach somebody something The accident taught me a lessonI'll never forget.
  5. Idioms
    (you can't) teach an old dog new tricks (saying)
    jump to other results
    (you cannot) successfully make people change their ideas, methods of work, etc., when they have had them for a long time
Vocabulary Buildingteachand teachersverbs teachJohn teaches French at the local school. She taught me how to change a tire. educateOur priority is to educate people about the dangers of drugs. instructMembers of staff should be instructed in the use of fire equipment. trainShe’s a trained midwife. He’s training the U.S. Olympic swim team. coachHe’s the best football player I’ve ever coached. She coaches some of the local children in singing. tutorShe tutors some of the local children in math. mentorShe's been mentoring me ever since I started at the company.nouns teacherschool/college teachers instructora swimming/science instructor trainera horse trainer Do you have a personal trainer? coacha football coach tutortutors working with migrant children mentorHe's been my mentor for two years now.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: teach