Main definitions of school in English

: school1school2

school1

noun

  • 1An institution for educating children:

    ‘Ryder's children did not go to school at all’
    [as modifier] ‘school books’
    • ‘Typically, in bilingual schools in Mexico, instruction is predominantly or exclusively in Spanish.’
    • ‘At school, the most she ever spoke was to the teacher, and that was rarely ever.’
    • ‘Students in schools with harsh discipline, such as zero-tolerance policies, reported lower school connectedness.’
    • ‘The President's talk about accountability is tied to the idea that schools should be run more like businesses.’
    • ‘At school he excelled at all sports, becoming captain of athletics and representing his school in the public schools championships.’
    • ‘She was no longer at school only because the school in her district stopped at age ten.’
    • ‘The running of a school relies on discipline and for any student to be querying instructions given to him is completely unacceptable.’
    • ‘English is the language of instruction in secondary schools and institutions of higher learning.’
    • ‘Parents with children in school were identified from fifty schools chosen randomly from school lists at the state Ministry of Education.’
    • ‘At school, if your teacher had told the class that one kid was going to be famous, how many kids would have said it would be you?’
    • ‘When I was in school, I used to do impressions of my friends at school and stuff like that.’
    • ‘English is the language of business, religion, and tourism and is the medium of instruction in schools.’
    • ‘The diabetic nurse visited the school to educate firstly the teachers and secondly the classmates.’
    • ‘At school after playtime, the teacher asked the kids what they had been doing.’
    • ‘Many of these children are not in school, and many others are in schools of extremely low quality.’
    • ‘For example, there was more corporal discipline in all the schools back then, less medical care for the average family, poorer housing in general and so on.’
    • ‘In school, I learned many wondrous things about science that amazed me.’
    • ‘In school, one of these many boundaries will be the legitimacy of academic knowledge.’
    • ‘English is the primary language of instruction in schools, and by the secondary level all students can read and write in basic English.’
    • ‘In it he argued that instruction in Catholic schools could be like that in the lycées, whose curriculum was grounded in that of the Jesuits.’
    educational institution, centre of learning
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The buildings used by a school:
      ‘the cost of building a new school’
      • ‘The government is trying to alleviate this problem by building accessible schools in rural areas.’
      • ‘They found rates 50 per cent higher than levels established for American schools and public buildings.’
      • ‘We didn't begin with a project for a house or a school or an office building.’
      • ‘The company also put men to work guarding the sanctuary against poachers and building schools for the children to meet another local need.’
      • ‘He also points out that although schools must meet the building code standards for air quality, that doesn't necessarily mean today's codes.’
      • ‘They accomplish real stuff, like building schools in Guatemala.’
      • ‘Her house is four blocks from her office, and she can drop off her kids at school before work, because their schools are less than a mile away.’
      • ‘Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings.’
      • ‘Many homes and other buildings such as schools and offices have high levels of radon.’
      • ‘The school consists of three buildings in a horseshoe layout with each building having three stories.’
      • ‘This will make the building of new schools necessary - an additional cost.’
      • ‘Let's stop wasting money and put it to better use building schools, hospitals and productive enterprises that will lift our people out of degrading poverty.’
      • ‘It looks at facilities like schools, office buildings and factories, and the chemicals likely to be in them.’
      • ‘Rekka also noticed in the flash of lighting that the building was the school.’
      • ‘But when they approached the concerned officials they were told that money cannot be given for linking roads but money could be given for building schools.’
      • ‘I asked him how the villages paid for their half of building and supporting a school.’
      • ‘Posters and other displays were also placed throughout the school to educate students.’
      • ‘Sales should generate $1 million, half of which will go toward building 20 new schools in Cambodia.’
      • ‘He huffed, as he crossed his arms, and leaned against the brick building of their school.’
      • ‘When the building was a school - a quarter of a century ago - there were probably fewer houses in this corner of the village.’
    2. 1.2[treated as plural] The pupils and staff of a school:
      ‘the head addressed the whole school’
      • ‘What if the whole entire school catches it and falls into horrible states mentally and physically?’
      • ‘The movie follows three schools into a ballroom dancing competition.’
      • ‘She had also been the only sixth grade cheerleader during the past school year, of the whole school.’
      • ‘For the rest of that school year, she turned the whole school against me.’
      • ‘The whole damn school is going to watch me make a fool of myself.’
      • ‘There is not one girl in this whole school except you that would dare ignore the jocks.’
      • ‘To be rude, I hate the nurse more then any teacher in the whole entire school.’
      • ‘To top it all off, he was on of the most well-known seniors in the whole school.’
      • ‘The entire school shared this lavatory and it had a dozen shower stalls for use.’
      • ‘I'm the one with all the inside info on every single student in the whole pathetic school.’
    3. 1.3[mass noun] A day's work at school:
      ‘school started at 7 a.m’
      • ‘The bell rang signalling the end of school and pupils rushed from the front exit out into the street.’
  • 2Any institution at which instruction is given in a particular discipline:

    ‘a dancing school’
    • ‘Art schools trained applied artists to create commercial art and decorative furnishings but offered no training in new technologies.’
    • ‘Often, local employment law firms or business schools offer relevant seminars.’
    • ‘In this latter regard I am not sure that it is the role of design schools to produce design critics and design writers as much as it is to explore and engender critical practices.’
    • ‘He often travels to industry events and client meetings, and is a popular guest lecturer at several business schools.’
    • ‘It is set in a dancing school, which opens with a scene of disarray (music and chairs scattered around).’
    • ‘His notions on strategy are more widely disseminated than ever and are preached at business schools and in seminars around the globe.’
    1. 2.1North American informal
      ‘Harvard is certainly not a loafer's school’
      another term for university
      • ‘I am receiving my Ph.D. from one of the best schools in my discipline.’
      • ‘That's so sad for Scott because he plays tennis all his life and he's a varsity player of their school.’
      • ‘He was an athlete and played on the varsity football team for our school.’
      • ‘I think schools like this do the best job of providing an undergraduate education in the world.’
      • ‘Because of the tension in my undergrad experience, I am looking for a grad school that is a better fit.’
      • ‘It was therefore out of necessity that we were all drafted into the school's varsity basketball team.’
      • ‘I don't know other schools offering this kind of work at an undergraduate level.’
      • ‘He has been invited to teach at Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Yale, among other schools.’
      • ‘Timely deposits must be made and official transcripts forwarded from undergraduate schools.’
      • ‘The idea that this nonsense is seeping off the Internet to schools and other places of a professional nature alarms me in a way most alarming.’
      • ‘Many successful people who couldn't afford Ivy League schools graduated from city and state colleges.’
      • ‘Harvard is one of the prestigious schools in the U.S. and all around the world.’
      • ‘The acceptance rates for Ivy League schools range from 10 to 31 percent, which are relatively low.’
      • ‘Some schools have resorted to filling chairs with professors who hold doctorates in other fields.’
      • ‘How much of that are you going to risk on your knowledge of Ivy League schools?’
    2. 2.2 A department or faculty of a university concerned with a particular subject of study:
      ‘the School of Medicine’
      • ‘Optometry courses lasting three years are taught in eight university departments and schools in the UK.’
      • ‘She studied at various art schools in New York, then at Yale University under Josef Albers, graduating in 1959.’
      • ‘In order to acquire the funding to expand departments, art schools and universities had to meet the formal requirements attached to the bill.’
      • ‘He gives frequent lectures at law schools and universities.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most important is the kind of cultural sea change under way on the campuses of business schools.’
      • ‘Julie is a student nurse about to graduate from a university school of nursing.’
      • ‘Universities retain the right, under enterprise bargaining agreements, to do away with disciplines, groups of disciplines, indeed entire schools.’
      • ‘Universities and their medical schools are developing proactive policies to streamline their research portfolios and to concentrate on existing areas of strength.’
      • ‘After World War II, however, journalism schools multiplied, developing on a large scale in the state universities.’
      • ‘Collaborations with other departments or schools at the university also help students explore alternatives.’
      • ‘There are colleges and schools located in religiously affiliated universities and those in secular institutions.’
      department, faculty, division
      View synonyms
  • 3A group of people, particularly writers, artists, or philosophers, sharing similar ideas or methods:

    ‘the Frankfurt school of critical theory’
    • ‘The hanging schemes did not accentuate the unique character of individual artists and schools.’
    • ‘Furthermore, particular schools of artists and artistic movements are also separate markets.’
    • ‘At the same time, a school of white jazz grew up in New York, led by Red Nichols, the Dorsey brothers Tommy and Jimmy, and others.’
    • ‘If there was a rising school of English composers, he was a factor in producing it.’
    • ‘The older school of novelists were not, however, sure that they altogether liked the new orderliness about such things.’
    group, set, circle, clique, faction, sect
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1[with adjective or noun modifier] A style, approach, or method of a specified character:
      ‘film-makers are tired of the skin-deep school of cinema’
      • ‘This is the sweep-it-under-the-rug school of planetary stewardship in which Canada is a world leader.’
      • ‘Not surprisingly, Weber was deeply influenced by the Austrian school of economics.’
      • ‘The paranoid school of economic history is again at work right before our eyes.’
      • ‘For a while, it constituted the lynchpin of the Mertonian school of the sociology of science.’
      • ‘For fans of old and new school metal this is a great mix to have cranked up in your car stereo.’
      • ‘These realisations are as old as Keynes, and have a heritage in the Austrian school of economics as well.’
      • ‘Dvorak himself deliberately failed to initiate an American school of music.’
      • ‘My poetic revelation occurred in the last stages of modernism, when the various schools of the avant-garde were beginning to appear in Latin America.’
      • ‘Different epistemological and philosophical schools have different positions and valuations about intuition and the knowledge it offers.’
      • ‘Through most schools of Greek philosophy, this term was used to designate a rational, intelligent and thus vivifying principle of the universe.’
      • ‘Its ideas and methods proved enormously influential on many different schools of 20th-century art.’
      • ‘However it is within the Labor Party, and not the Liberal Party, that adherents of such a school are to be found.’
      • ‘The content is of value across disciplines and not inconsistent with any of the major philosophical and theoretical schools of therapy.’
      • ‘Britain maybe isn't the best example to pick, as the logician school of thinking is very much an Anglo-American creation.’
      • ‘This reminds me of the yay-boo school of journalism, as perfected by my father.’
      way of thinking, school of thought, persuasion, creed, credo, doctrine, belief, faith, outlook, opinion, point of view
      View synonyms
  • 4British schools(at Oxford University) the hall in which final examinations are held.

    1. 4.1 Final examinations:
      ‘I never took schools. I was ill’
  • 5British A group gambling together:

    ‘a poker school’
    1. 5.1 A group of people drinking together in a bar and taking turns to buy the drinks:
      ‘I ordered a pint of bitter for myself—I didn't want to get into a school’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1North American formal Send to school; educate:

    ‘Taverier was born in Paris and schooled in Lyon’
    • ‘Australians shared the same language, relied on British news for knowledge of the world, and were schooled in an education system which sustained British loyalties.’
    • ‘So, potential migrants are schooled to New Zealand standards, while imbibing Kiwi culture for several years - and all the while forking over hefty sums.’
    • ‘He speaks great English, in fact, was schooled in the United States.’
    • ‘Fifteen or 20 years ago I could protect my children from the excesses of consumerism and materialism by schooling them at home and putting the TV in the closet.’
    educate, teach, instruct
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Train or discipline (someone) in a particular skill or activity:
      ‘he schooled her in horsemanship’
      ‘it's important to school yourself to be good at exams’
      • ‘In 1958, he got schooled by the locals on epic high-altitude climbs.’
      • ‘Faculties who taught agriculture leadership courses were schooled in traditional agricultural education that consisted of educational methods and technology.’
      • ‘The more understanding your IT copywriter brings to the relationship, the less time you'll spend schooling them.’
      • ‘They had long schooled themselves in efforts to overthrow bourgeois convention.’
      • ‘But it was Gillespie who formed the early bands, organized the tours and schooled young acolytes in the odd, syncopated rhythms and lightning-fast runs that were trademarks of the new style.’
      • ‘We should not ordinarily let ourselves be schooled by terrorists.’
      • ‘She had been schooled in what to do in the event this should happen.’
      • ‘In addition, Sasha was also schooling the thunder demon in the arts of speech: the spell with the metal disks was beginning to wear off.’
      • ‘They're really trying to drill you to see if you're schooled in Internet economics.’
      • ‘In her disguise as the boy Ganymede, Rosalind is able to promise Orlando a cure for lovesickness and also schools him in the art of love!’
      • ‘He pointed out that it is now schooling its programmers in security.’
      • ‘He also has a treasure trove of beer facts and information to school anyone on the secrets of the suds.’
      • ‘Geragos has schooled him and prepared him very well.’
      • ‘Even so, climbers should be schooled in basic rock climbing and comfortable with jumaring and rappelling.’
      • ‘Tracey briefly considered not schooling the newcomer to the strangeness of her boss, but it wasn't like she was degrading his supervisor.’
      • ‘In 1999, Dorsey started schooling herself about money management.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, they need to be schooled a little themselves on this release.’
      • ‘Others are schooling themselves on the new legislative landscape not just to gain a marketing advantage but out of necessity.’
      • ‘But most college administrators are not schooled in these new identity linguistics.’
      • ‘And now, after many fruitful years of schooling myself to avoid formulations about function, I am returning to them.’
      train, teach, tutor, coach, instruct, upskill, drill, discipline, direct, guide, prepare, groom, mould, shape, form
      View synonyms
  • 2Riding
    Train (a horse) on the flat or over fences:

    ‘if you have schooled your horse properly, your riding will look better’

adjective

South African
  • 1(of a Xhosa) educated and westernized:

    ‘economic considerations persuaded many Xhosa not to become school by opting for a Western lifestyle’
    Contrasted with red
    1. 1.1 (of a name) of Western origin:
      ‘it embarrasses me to be called by the school name I was given at church’

Phrases

  • leave school

    • Finish one's education:

      ‘he left school at 16’
      • ‘For us, finishing Year 12 means having a higher level of education and a wider range of work options when we leave school.’
      • ‘But over 46 million adults lack a high school education, and every year 500,000 students leave school without graduating.’
      • ‘Although she dreamed of becoming a doctor, financial problems forced her to leave school early, and she never received a formal education.’
      • ‘With American education falling into decay, and each generation leaving school more hopeless than the last, it's good to know New York State isn't bilking its teachers.’
      • ‘She wanted to wait until the children finished school and leave school for the summer.’
      • ‘He admits that real education doesn't start until after you leave school and start working with great artists.’
      • ‘She left school at age 14 with an eighth grade education to work in factories.’
      • ‘I was upset she was leaving school and probably ending her education.’
      • ‘Up until 1991, most drivers had little education, with many of them leaving school by 15 years of age, serving three years as an apprentice mechanic or clerk before training as a driver.’
      • ‘After her father died, she left school with the equivalent of a grade 8 education, and went to work.’
  • of (or from) the old school

  • the school of hard knocks

    • Painful or difficult experiences that are seen to be useful in teaching someone about life.

      • ‘So you again enter the catch - 22 situation, where you are either qualified but lacking in the experience department, or the wealth of experience you have gained in the school of hard knocks is wasted as you don't have the qualifications.’
      • ‘Unfortunately his father lost his fortune shortly thereafter, and Finlay instead received instruction from the school of hard knocks as he grew up amid grinding poverty in the Glasgow slums.’
      • ‘Being a person who bypassed college and enrolled directly in the school of hard knocks, I may not be the best source to ask about higher education.’
      • ‘They will very soon get the shock of their lives and learn some very painful lesson in the school of hard knocks.’
      • ‘I've learned the hard way at the school of hard knocks.’
      • ‘Foolishly, I had decided to learn California's unique motorcycle laws and driving rules through the school of hard knocks.’
      • ‘‘The first year was difficult, no doubt about it,’ admits this graduate from the school of hard knocks.’
      • ‘Many respondents indicated that valuable learning was only possible via hands-on training in the school of hard knocks.’
      • ‘But admissions departments should make the extra effort to look for signs of character traits, like persistence, imagination, and training in the school of hard knocks, that might be hidden in the numbers.’
      • ‘It is quite an honor for a working writer (one who has learned the craft in the school of hard knocks, rather than in a writing program) to be asked to teach a class like this.’
      the way of the world, the world, the way things go, the way of it, the human condition, the times we live in, the usual state of affairs, the school of hard knocks
      View synonyms
  • school of thought

    • A particular way of thinking, especially one not followed by the speaker:

      ‘there is a school of thought that says 1960s office blocks should be refurbished as residential accommodation’
      • ‘Well, there is two schools of thought on that, I suppose.’
      • ‘There are a lot of people who are following too much a particular school of thought.’
      • ‘We start to divide up into our groups and our schools of thought.’
      • ‘There are two schools of thought regarding how the government of Alberta operates.’
      • ‘There are a few schools of thought regarding style.’
      • ‘There are at least two schools of thought in contention here.’
      • ‘This wide-ranging mastery allows her to describe different schools of thought and research methods with a true distillation rather than simplification.’
      • ‘It's these schools of thought that have helped societies understand what drives economies in both developing nations and emerging nations.’
      • ‘This is a very interesting issue because there's two schools of thought here.’
      • ‘Now there's obviously two schools of thought in this regard; do you see band as a job/career as well as fun and an outlet, or would you rather not look at it in that way?’

Origin

Old English scōl, scolu, via Latin from Greek skholē leisure, philosophy, lecture place, reinforced in Middle English by Old French escole.

Pronunciation:

school

/skuːl/

Main definitions of school in English

: school1school2

school2

noun

  • A large group of fish or sea mammals:

    ‘a school of dolphins’
    • ‘Shy leaves hide under their brethren as the icy chill dives and chases each one like a predator feasting on a school of fish.’
    • ‘A bird helps the old man locate a large albacore tuna, which is a straggler from a larger school of fish.’
    • ‘All he saw was lots of blue water, and an occasional school of fish here and there.’
    • ‘After finally loading up the ship with enough equipment to haul in a school of Chilean sea bass we set sail.’
    • ‘A school of males is far more boisterous, and the most dangerous to encounter.’
    • ‘She saw a school of orange and yellow fish swim past her; Joanna felt elated and blissful.’
    • ‘The thought of coral reefs conjures images of brightly coloured shoals and huge schools of exotic fish.’
    • ‘It didn't take long for the fools to scatter out like a crazy school of fish.’
    • ‘Obedience to the instincts of its kind is also helpful, as when an entire school of fish moves as one to avoid disaster.’
    • ‘The stones at the bottom were covered in green and brown slime and a school of small fish swam past them, startled.’
    • ‘Sean shrieked at a school of drowsing fish who promptly scattered to deeper waters.’
    • ‘At the river's edge, a school of small, dark fish darts away as a shadow crosses the water.’
    • ‘A school of menominee swam by and I tried to drop the spear on them but they moved out of its way.’
    • ‘Because of the blaring white light, it seemed to shimmer like a school of fish on a sunny day.’
    • ‘He saw ‘some small fish to skip, and play upon the surface of the water’ which turned out to be a school of pilchards.’
    • ‘The area was swarming with people the way a school of fish in a net would flop about.’
    • ‘The water was so clear that a school of fish could be seen swimming against the current, upriver.’
    • ‘The two men stood for a bit more at the railing and watched as a school of dolphins raced parallel to the moving freighter.’
    • ‘Inside her cluttered mind memories swam like a skittish school of fish.’
    • ‘A school of porpoises came alongside the boat for a visit.’

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • (of fish or sea mammals) form a large group:

    ‘grey snapper schooled in shallow lagoons’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin; related to Old English scolu troop. Compare with shoal.

Pronunciation:

school

/skuːl/