Definition of lecture in US English:



  • 1An educational talk to an audience, especially to students in a university or college.

    • ‘Some sites even include disclaimers indicating that the postings are not official lecture notes.’
    • ‘Hundreds of pages of lecture notes were strewn across the living room and bedroom.’
    • ‘Five or six evening lectures are held each winter at monthly intervals.’
    • ‘And he explained that the college lecture circuit was full of speakers peddling this propaganda.’
    • ‘Such exploration in drawing was also evident in lectures to students.’
    • ‘After taking attendance, Mrs. Turner immediately began her long lecture to the class.’
    • ‘There are many concerns with providing a classroom lecture on academic integrity and plagiarism.’
    • ‘He gave a wonderful illustrated lecture on how to video a wedding.’
    • ‘He is currently compiling his lecture notes into a second book on the topic.’
    • ‘His topic will be an illustrated lecture on the restoration of the City Towers and Walls now in progress.’
    • ‘His employer recognised his talent and encouraged him to attend public lectures on science.’
    • ‘For a moment, it feels like I'm back in a university lecture theatre.’
    • ‘His lectures to his students at Oxford were models of clear thinking and style.’
    • ‘My " inaugural lecture " was about U.S. political and cultural imperialism.’
    • ‘I sit in my class now, half listening to the teacher's lecture.’
    • ‘The topic uses approximately three 50-minute didactic lectures and an hour of student presentation on a case history.’
    • ‘The lyceum lecture circuit, of which Emerson was a leading light, eventually spread throughout much of the nation.’
    • ‘The festival will include introductory lectures as well as screenings of major Spanish films.’
    • ‘A guest lecture on ' translation theories' gave the event an academic touch.’
    • ‘Things like exams, homework, and boring lectures are frequently the cause of much student trepidation.’
    speech, talk, address, discourse, disquisition, presentation, oration, lesson, recitation, monologue, sermon, homily
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A long, serious speech, especially one given as a scolding or reprimand.
      ‘the usual lecture on table manners’
      • ‘We both ended up hearing a stern lecture from the police chief.’
      • ‘It was a good arrangement but it meant she had to go through her mother's usual lectures about working all the time or working at all.’
      • ‘But I knew if I didn't get back in Rebecca's room by the time my dad woke up - or at least out of my bed - I would probably be in for a serious lecture.’
      • ‘Her character gets a lecture from a minicab driver about how lonely her frosty singledom has made her.’
      • ‘When his highness finally graced me with his presence I was forced to listen to the usual lecture about respect.’
      • ‘He gave me a long lecture about the absurdity of somebody claiming an interest in serious music who didn't own a stereophonic gramophone.’
      • ‘Nearly an hour and a half of lectures about his character and how it had to be improved later, she was still going strong.’
      • ‘But this isn't your usual hell-in-a-handcart lecture.’
      • ‘They will no doubt receive a stern lecture on the wickedness of their ways.’
      • ‘And spare us the usual lectures about American unilateralism.’
      • ‘For my own part I had only been on the end of a few less serious lectures and not once had she hit me.’
      • ‘I suspect Lord Fyre to come and give Christine the usual lecture of ‘How dare you storm off like that?’’
      • ‘This was the most serious that I've ever seen Darius, even more serious then the lecture on birds and bees.’
      • ‘Mel showed up, apologized, was given the usual lecture.’
      • ‘Each of the main characters faces a lecture from a relatively minor character who enlightens him about how society should function under the law.’
      • ‘Mr. Turner did not have them play as he did in orchestra, but instead gave them the usual lecture.’
      • ‘The lecture seemed even longer than usual and our convo seemed to go on forever.’
      • ‘And besides, I'm not really in the mood for her usual lecture on me needing to try harder in school.’
      • ‘Minister, I don't need a lecture from you on the merits of freedom of speech…’
      • ‘If mom heard it, she could expect a serious lecture on ‘not calling your eldest sister nicknames’.’
      scolding, chiding, reprimand, rebuke, reproof, reproach, remonstration, upbraiding, berating, castigation, tirade, diatribe, harangue, admonition, admonishment, lambasting, obloquy
      View synonyms


[no object]
  • 1Deliver an educational lecture or lectures.

    ‘she was lecturing to her class of eighty students’
    • ‘Up to that point he has held himself aloof, the professor lecturing on abstractions.’
    • ‘In his spare time, he likes to write code and lecture on security topics.’
    • ‘Teachers who lecture send the message that they are an expert source of information.’
    • ‘He has also lectured at historical societies and at other venues throughout Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘He lectured all over the world and his books on running were translated into several languages.’
    • ‘At one point, we see the chip's inventor lecturing on the mathematics behind its design.’
    • ‘Now an emeritus professor of Manchester University, he has lectured all over the world.’
    • ‘Our pharmacology professor lecturing in 1940 stated that 10 drugs in use were probably effective.’
    • ‘He was recognised nationally as an expert in this field and lectured widely.’
    • ‘He is considered a pioneer in the field of conservation biology and has written and lectured widely on the subject.’
    • ‘Before that, in 1936, he had lectured at the University of Moscow.’
    • ‘In 1751 he went to the University of Utrecht to lecture on mathematics and astronomy.’
    • ‘Our tour guide could have lectured on mediaeval Scottish history at any seat of learning you care to mention.’
    • ‘She has also lectured extensively to students, to staff and multi-disciplinary groups throughout the region and east coast.’
    • ‘My father was fond of relating a story about a professor lecturing on geography.’
    • ‘In a traditional classroom, the teacher lectures to the students and fills them with knowledge.’
    • ‘Heidegger continued to write and lecture extensively on this subject for the following eight years.’
    • ‘He quickly became proficient in this study, and lectured widely on them thereafter.’
    • ‘Hilder taught at Goldsmiths' from 1929 to 1941 and also lectured at other colleges.’
    • ‘He often lectured on the history of mathematical ideas, a topic which greatly fascinated him.’
    give a lecture, give a talk, talk, give a speech, make a speech, speak, give an address, discourse, expound, hold forth, declaim, expatiate, give a sermon, sermonize, pontificate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Give a lecture to (a class or other audience)
      ‘he was lecturing future generations of health-service professionals’
      • ‘Most of these classes are lectured by one individual.’
      • ‘A schoolteacher was routinely lecturing his Grade 3 pupils on the times table, when fire broke out in the building (due to faulty wiring).’
      • ‘He lectured his London School of Economics audience in December last year, while the prime minister bit his lip with jealousy.’
      • ‘He attempted to lecture the class about stoichiometry.’
      • ‘At the beginning of the decade men in blazers lectured viewers on the finer points of swimming, show jumping and cycling and the viewers listened attentively.’
      • ‘The teacher gave no reply, and simply went back to lecturing the class.’
      • ‘He wanders into pointless asides, conspiracy theories and even presumes to lecture the audience about its loyalty to Canada.’
      • ‘I just can't do it this weekend as I am lecturing a class on Tuesday and I'm not prepared yet.’
      • ‘At the front of the large university classroom, a teacher was still lecturing the class, completely unaware that two of the many students were no longer paying attention.’
      • ‘She logged off of whatever it was that she was doing on her computer and stood to lecture the class on Hamlet, which was the play we were studying for the time being.’
      • ‘A linguistics professor was lecturing his class one day.’
      • ‘He was lecturing his Economics 303 class about time preferences in March last year.’
      • ‘She had taken three doses over 24 hours when she had to stop lecturing her college class because her voice gave out and became a mere whisper.’
      • ‘I walked over to Chad as the professor began to lecture the class.’
      • ‘He lectured the class on when to use commas and semicolons when writing a story.’
      teach, tutor in, instruct in, give instruction in, give lessons in
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2with object Talk seriously or reprovingly to (someone)
      ‘don't lecture me!’
      • ‘Nevertheless, in the week in which he was once again lecturing the country on the need to leave its money safely in his care, the significance of the affair is, on one level, almost too obvious to state.’
      • ‘The teacher of the special class was lectured on the danger of peanuts and given an extensive list of food items that should not only be kept out of the classroom when he was in it, but out of the classroom at all times.’
      • ‘I have a hard time believing that he was calmly lecturing others on his lifestyle choice, and it was probably causing the distractions that the school claimed.’
      • ‘The Government is always lecturing farmers about the importance of biosecurity.’
      • ‘If there is a discussion between parents and children, it generally follows that the parents lecture the children on proper patterns of thought and behaviour.’
      • ‘It also explores the self-indulgence of the literary society and the day-to-day shallowness of middle-class life, without ever lecturing its audience.’
      • ‘Why on earth should we presume to lecture the rest of the world on conflict resolution?’
      • ‘We do not know how much he made lecturing the rest of us heathens on morality.’
      • ‘It was striking how many of them, presumably without any direct orders from the owners of their publications, started lecturing the French in the tones of nineteenth-century Masters of Capital.’
      • ‘While in Sacramento she paused in the middle of her performance and lectured the audience on their poor manners.’
      • ‘Does it have any right, in future, to lecture others on how they should run their affairs?’
      • ‘I found him intractable, dominating and intent on lecturing everyone about the way to do things, which in his case meant only the way they'd done things in the fifties.’
      • ‘An assistant principal and a guidance counselor went around to each class to lecture them on the dangers of choosing the wrong wardrobe.’
      • ‘Without ever resorting to lecturing his audience, he shows how these otherwise invisible folk are in fact the beating heart of the the big city.’
      • ‘Then she spins on her heel, and starts lecturing the class about following school rules.’
      • ‘So he would never, ever lecture the president about his conduct or anything of the sort.’
      • ‘When that is done, he can lecture the rest of racing about the lack of competitiveness.’
      • ‘Was he seriously going to lecture me on how much I had to drink?’
      • ‘Before he lectures the poor on their shortcomings, he might want to lecture his peers and the middle class on theirs.’
      • ‘I guess I was surprised that he was lecturing the press about its - what he felt was the undue attention that the press in this town has been paying to his private life.’
      scold, chide, reprimand, rebuke, reprove, reproach, remonstrate with, upbraid, berate, castigate, chastise, admonish, lambaste, nag, haul over the coals, take to task, read someone the riot act
      View synonyms


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘reading, a text to read’): from Old French, or from medieval Latin lectura, from Latin lect- ‘read, chosen’, from the verb legere.