Definition of teach in English:



  • 1 Show or explain to (someone) how to do something.

    ‘she taught him to read’
    ‘he taught me how to ride a bike’
    • ‘We also have three training organizations prepared to teach workers how to install it.’
    • ‘The choirmaster, Howell Price, taught me how to read music and sing with discipline.’
    • ‘I was happy to have family in the business to teach me the knowledge of the business.’
    • ‘My mom started teaching me to read at age three, and I never lacked for books and magazines and there were no restrictions on what I was allowed to read.’
    • ‘Phonetics is the way the children are taught to read and write in the Montessori method of education.’
    • ‘The charity has educated people about HIV and AIDS, taught women to read, immunised children and helped people rebuild their lives after conflict.’
    • ‘A carpenter wrote his thanks to Weatherly for teaching him how to read instructions.’
    • ‘At Oxford University he developed a passion for botany, but finding no-one who could instruct him adequately, he hired a tutor who taught him the new Linnaean precepts.’
    • ‘The way I see it is thus: the older folks have a lot to impart to us, wisdom of the ages, knowledge, time available to teach kids to read, etc.’
    • ‘What will we learn next, that education schools don't teach educators how to teach kids to read?’
    • ‘Talking about adult education, he lauded India's innovative programme that teaches people to read in their mother tongue in just two to three hours.’
    • ‘You know, he's talking about using scientific research to teach kids how to read.’
    • ‘In either case, it illustrates how teaching children to read in Spanish transcends the school grounds.’
    • ‘Traditional American Education models call for teaching a child to read between the ages of 7-9.’
    • ‘His mother taught him to read at age three, and ‘once I knew how to read, I was off on my own.’’
    • ‘The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys.’
    • ‘Although most mosques have programs to teach children to read the Koran and memorize verses, the pesantren is unique because it targets small children.’
    • ‘Again, a reasonable guess is that some instructors might be prepared to teach some students this way.’
    • ‘As well as the teacher having all the knowledge to teach the kids, the kids can actually help the teacher learn something.’
    • ‘Colleges of pharmacy are changing their curriculums to teach students the necessary knowledge and skills needed to deliver pharmaceutical care.’
    educate, instruct, school, tutor, give lessons to, coach, train, upskill, ground, enlighten, illuminate, verse, edify, prepare, din something into, indoctrinate, brainwash
    train, show, guide, instruct, demonstrate to, give someone an idea, make clear
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    1. 1.1[with object]Give information about or instruction in (a subject or skill)
      ‘he came one day each week to teach painting’
      [with two objects] ‘she teaches me French’
      • ‘This guide contains all the skills and requirements as well as the background and reference information needed to teach the skills.’
      • ‘The only orderly class I meet in this school is expecting me to teach the subject I know nothing about.’
      • ‘They had become self-taught sailors on the lake, teaching themselves the necessary skills and knots.’
      • ‘Mountain safety boils down mainly to common sense; you can teach yourself the necessary skills, and there are many excellent books on the subject.’
      • ‘While the children need to be supervised, Principal McGovern argues that it is an excellent way to teach a specialised subject area.’
      • ‘Teachers have argued passionately for the opportunity to teach the subject they love, instead of trawling laboriously through past papers.’
      • ‘When Kate Brookes wants to ask a colleague's advice on how to teach her subject it is not just a case of popping into the staff room.’
      • ‘I have just posted up here some of the ‘Middle Eastern Studies’ that you will NOT hear about in most universities that claim to teach such a subject.’
      • ‘The subjects must be taught in depth at the school level.’
      • ‘Interventions can provide the information and teach the skills necessary to implement those strategies.’
      • ‘I teach two AP subjects and have a lot of trouble fitting in all that I would like for the course.’
      • ‘I really thank Ben for helping out and getting Ivan to polish up his guitar skills, teaching Charissa her first few chords.’
      • ‘Then again, consider the vested interest of all those who teach the subject of English literature.’
      • ‘Workshops, run once a week to teach the homeless new skills, have been running for a year and this is the first public display of the resulting work.’
      • ‘It's not just an education system about teaching literacy and numeracy.’
      • ‘European Studies is taught as a subject in the school and many students have entered EU organised competitions with great success.’
      • ‘How the information and skills are taught are considered to be equally as important as the award itself.’
      • ‘Unsurprisingly it has been found that subjects which are taught in a more innovative and interesting way get better results and better behaviour in those lessons.’
      • ‘But once the notions take hold that parenting is a job and that the required skills can be taught, we may end up with the idea that the aim is to produce a certain type of product.’
      • ‘However, camp teaches the very skills that will allow camps to respond to these opportunities.’
      give lessons in, lecture in, give instructions in, inform someone about, familiarize someone with, acquaint someone with, instil, inculcate, explicate, explain, expound
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    2. 1.2[no object]Give such instruction professionally.
      ‘she teaches at the local high school’
      • ‘If they fail to keep up the GTC's standards, they will lose their licence to teach in state schools.’
      • ‘I taught at the high school in the morning, one class at Nicholls in the afternoon and then went home to the hard work.’
      • ‘The reason the better students give their teachers higher ratings is that most teachers tend to teach to the better students.’
      • ‘Katherine von Duyke has home taught her 11 children for 16 years, and teaches at a homeschool high school.’
      • ‘One faculty member acknowledged that it was the source of her motivation for teaching at a community college.’
      • ‘If not, what anchoring ideologies define teaching in community colleges?’
      • ‘This is a book that offers rich possibilities for new directions in teaching at high school and college levels.’
      • ‘One of the village's primary school teachers, who taught at the orphanage for two days last year, said he would not go back.’
      • ‘She has taught at the elementary school level and is currently a teacher educator, preparing teachers to teach in diverse classrooms.’
      • ‘He became a secondary school teacher, teaching in schools at Tilberg and Breda.’
      • ‘When I taught at a community college, one of my students was a forty-five-year-old mom who juggled two jobs and a full academic load.’
      • ‘He now teaches at Merivale High School, also in Nepean.’
      • ‘Both of our teachers have taught in the public schools and consider this a much better situation.’
      • ‘Consider the fact that teachers almost universally discount their wages in order to teach in private schools.’
      • ‘The majority of these bilingual education teachers taught in transitional bilingual programs.’
      • ‘What is not entirely clear is whether their commitment is to teaching or more specifically to teaching in a community college.’
      • ‘This same person was the only participant in the study ever encouraged by another member of the academy to teach at a community college.’
      • ‘Many teachers are unqualified to teach according to local public school standards and most don't know how to relate to American-raised children.’
      • ‘The three professors whom I determined to have created the most spirit in their classes all taught at a community college.’
      • ‘To further complicate matters, teachers generally teach as if all students are at the same place in their learning development.’
    3. 1.3[with object]Encourage someone to accept (something) as a fact or principle.
      ‘the philosophy teaches self-control’
      • ‘By teaching ideology instead of facts, our schools are erasing the nation's collective memory.’
      • ‘What a responsibility we have to ensure we teach them God's principles - not man's opinions.’
      • ‘Why should schools face such intense opposition, just because they don't teach evolution as fact?’
      • ‘In 610 CE, the main principles of Islam were taught secretly.’
      • ‘And of course, Darwinian evolution is taught as fact in the education systems of Mexico, as it is in so many other countries.’
      • ‘Are we teaching them the philosophy and the mission, along with fiscal, staff, and program management skills?’
      • ‘The people growing up with these ideologies usually accept what they are taught.’
      • ‘As time went on, Trungpa Rinpoche encouraged me to teach dharma and to step as fully as possible into that role.’
      • ‘But Dr Nelson says those who do not accept and teach Australian values should ‘clear off’.’
      • ‘When I was a child, when school was education was much better, we were taught discipline both at home and at school.’
      • ‘By now, someone reading this is angrily muttering, but it teaches the kids discipline!’
      • ‘In France, evolution is taught as a fact that you have to learn, and if you try to oppose that, you will be in trouble.’
      • ‘This narrow form of sex education fails to take into consideration this fact and teaches a narrow view, thus ignoring diverse ideas on sexuality.’
      • ‘And, of course, think also of tax-supported schools that teach evolution as fact.’
      • ‘When they do play, however, they manage to calm angry mobs, encourage world peace and teach vital life lessons - all the usual motivations for today's future bands.’
      • ‘Even better is the fact that the program teaches conservative play; they want you to be able to play for a long time and hopefully leave with more money than you came with.’
      • ‘‘Baby Steps’ parents are encouraged to teach life lessons with familiar objects and activities.’
      • ‘Texas has approved biology textbooks that, get this: teach evolution as fact, much to the chagrin of creationists.’
      • ‘Why not change a great part of that education to teach strength of character in practising abstinence, and learning some moral principles, and teaching the value of marriage?’
    4. 1.4Cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience.
      ‘she'd been taught that it paid to be passive’
      ‘my upbringing taught me never to be disrespectful to elders’
      • ‘Experience taught him that art & words were inextricably bound with consciousness.’
      • ‘Experience has taught me that I should be worried if something is constructed using language and concepts which I can't understand.’
      • ‘Things haven't always been as happy for Mick, he has known his share of dark days but experience has taught him that life is precious and to be enjoyed.’
      • ‘Years of bitter experience have taught me that if you don't blow your own trumpet, it's fairly rare that anyone else will do it on your behalf.’
      • ‘Finally, experience teaches us that the fall of a government creates a security gap.’
      • ‘Experience teaches us that excess doesn't buy us happiness, that money can't insulate us from pain.’
      • ‘Experience teaches us, however, that humility often departs when the remembrance of imperfections grows more distant.’
      • ‘When I was coming into the Church, experience quickly taught me that I could not rely on catechesis at the parish level.’
      • ‘The experience of many decades had taught us to understand that the black poor of our country valued a just peace as deeply as they valued their lives.’
      • ‘He takes a deep breath: ‘But such experiences have taught me about human life.’’
      • ‘The experience taught me how much it's possible to learn away from home in a new environment.’
      • ‘The movies teach us to expect violence from the mentally ill - even though it's clear that we have far more to fear from our ostensibly sane fellow citizens.’
      • ‘My experience taught me that an owner should know every detail, from the cooking of the food up to its management, or he will be tricked by his workers.’
      • ‘However, don't they always teach us to learn from our mistakes?’
      • ‘Thus, discipline is really a process by which adults teach children and convey knowledge about appropriate behavior for various situations.’
      • ‘When things are going well, experience teaches us that turnouts are relatively lower.’
      • ‘Experience teaches us that if it happens in the United States, it will happen here, sooner rather than later.’
      • ‘Experience teaches us that integrity may be compromised for convenience or to avoid unpleasant consequences.’
      • ‘We must save our heritage, we must learn from lessons taught us from the destruction of Swan Arcade and Forster Square Station to name but two examples.’
      • ‘Our multimedia degree programme teaches students to understand how technology affects business.’
    5. 1.5informal Make (someone) less inclined to do something.
      ‘“I'll teach you to mess with young girls!”’
      • ‘That'll teach you to mess with my friend's shop.’
      • ‘That'll teach Ipswich ne'er-do-wells to mess with a man's shed.’
      • ‘She'd teach him for messing with every girl he saw.’
      • ‘That'll teach me to forget the look-but-don't-touch rule.’
      • ‘‘I'll teach you to mess with him’ he said, pulling out a knife.’
      • ‘And that, my redneck cousin, will teach you to mess with a town boy!’
      • ‘That'll teach you to mess with the Tengon regime!’


  • A teacher.

    • ‘Everyone's eyes shift from the teach, Mrs. Stamos, to us.’
    • ‘I entered the class interrupting the lecture the teach was giving.’
    • ‘Guys, do you remember the time were read the Three Musketeers in class and the teach started to call us that?’
    • ‘Of course, what is new about the teach is that she was sponsored by the City of Oakland and inflicted on public school students.’
    • ‘I suppose they got annoyed when they came in with a hangover and the teach kicked them out.’
    • ‘Then we will attach bowling balls to the ceiling on the string and throw them at the teach.’
    • ‘I had never seen a teach shoot fire from her eyes before, but Miss Gulch looked as if she were only moments away from doing so.’
    educator, tutor, instructor, pedagogue, schoolteacher, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, master, mistress, governess, educationalist, educationist
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  • teach someone a lesson

    • Punish or hurt someone as a deterrent.

      ‘they were teaching me a lesson for daring to complain’
      • ‘He decided to teach them a lesson and it was a wrong move.’
      • ‘Perhaps this will teach you a lesson, and be a warning for any of those thinking of rebelling.’
      • ‘Even in accepting my gift, he was teaching me a lesson.’
      • ‘Perhaps, it's his way of teaching them a lesson for becoming unruly at times.’
      • ‘‘I would like to teach them a lesson,’ said Mrs North.’
      • ‘The Catalan region taught me a lesson in sobriety and discipline but also to love its freedom.’
      • ‘Therefore, it is not our intention to punish you, but rather to teach you a lesson.’
      • ‘Treat these folks right or they may not vote at all, just to teach you a lesson.’
      • ‘Our nation's experience with prescription drugs should teach us a lesson.’
      • ‘If we can make these criminals run back and forth from the court on a number of grievous charges then that would teach them a lesson.’
      penalize, discipline, mete out punishment to, bring someone to book, teach someone a lesson, make an example of
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  • teach school

    • Be a schoolteacher.

      • ‘She found her way to New York, where she taught school, until Morris hired her and wooed her.’
      • ‘Alice Chipman Dewey had taught school before attending the University of Michigan.’
      • ‘The patient, who had taught school until retirement age, had been self-sufficient all of her adult life.’
      • ‘Matt and Ruth live cozily in Camden, Maine, where he works as a family doctor and she teaches school.’
      • ‘I teach school and our school colour is red and black.’
      • ‘A shy, quiet boy who loved the outdoors, Thoreau graduated from Harvard College in 1837, taught school intermittently until 1841, then turned to writing as a career.’
      • ‘Troy's wife, Susan, teaches school in Smith Center.’
      • ‘I had such affection for it as a kid, and I later taught school and high school out there for about seven years.’
      • ‘My mother was teaching school, but that wasn't income enough for four growing children, two of whom were away at boarding school.’
      • ‘My great aunts worked all through the fifties and sixties, on the farm or teaching school.’
  • teach to the test

    • Teach students using methods intended primarily to improve their performance on an examination rather than to enhance their understanding of a subject.

      ‘teachers are being forced to teach to the test so the school can get funding’


Old English tǣcan show, present, point out of Germanic origin; related to token, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek deiknunai show and Latin dicere say.