Definition of pupil noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpjuːpl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpjuːpl//
    Teaching and learning, People in schools, Face
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  1. 1  (especially British English, becoming old-fashioned) a person who is being taught, especially a child in a school How many pupils does the school have? She now teaches only private pupils. Synonymsstudentpupil schoolboy/​schoolchild/​schoolgirlThese are all words for a child that attends school.student a person who is studying in a school, especially an older child:Students are required to be in school by 8.30. Any high school student could tell you the answer.pupil (British English) a person who is being taught, especially a child in a school:The school has over 850 pupils. Pupil is used only in British English and is starting to become old-fashioned. Student is often preferred, especially by teachers and other people involved in education, and especially when talking about older children.schoolboy/​schoolgirl/​schoolchild a boy, girl or child who attends school:Since she was a schoolgirl she had dreamed of going on the stage. These words emphasize the age of the children or this period in their lives; they are less often used to talk about teaching and learning:an able schoolboy/​schoolgirl/​schoolchildPatterns a(n) good/​bright/​able/​brilliant/​star/​outstanding student/​pupil a naughty schoolboy/​schoolgirl/​schoolchild a disruptive student/​pupil a(n) ex-/former student/​pupil a school student/​pupil to teach students/​pupils/​schoolboys/​schoolgirls/​schoolchildren See related entries: Teaching and learning, People in schools
  2. 2  a person who is taught artistic, musical, etc. skills by an expert The painting is by a pupil of Rembrandt.
  3. 3 the small round black area at the centre of the eye Her pupils were dilated. compare iris See related entries: Face
  4. Word Originsenses 1 to 2 late Middle English (in the sense ‘orphan, ward’): from Old French pupille, from Latin pupillus (diminutive of pupus ‘boy’) and pupilla (diminutive of pupa ‘girl’).sense 3 late Middle English: from Old French pupille or Latin pupilla, diminutive of pupa ‘doll’ (so named from the tiny reflected images visible in the eye).Extra examples Daniel is the star pupil at school. the parents of secondary school pupils Ex-pupils try to have a reunion every five years. Pupils at Meadow School have raised £1 500 for charity. The school has over 850 pupils. We expect pupil numbers to increase next year. What measures can we take to deal with disruptive pupils?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: pupil

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