Meaning of teach in English:


Pronunciation /tiːtʃ/

See synonyms for teach

Translate teach into Spanish


  • 1with object and infinitive or clause Impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) as to how to do something.

    ‘she taught him to read’
    • ‘he taught me how to ride a bike’
    • ‘The education system that would teach girls to read would also empower millions of illiterate boys.’
    • ‘Traditional American Education models call for teaching a child to read between the ages of 7-9.’
    • ‘The charity has taught women to read and helped people rebuild their lives after conflict.’
    • ‘The choirmaster taught me how to read music and sing with discipline.’
    • ‘In either case, it illustrates how teaching children to read in Spanish transcends the school grounds.’
    • ‘A carpenter wrote his thanks to Weatherly for teaching him how to read instructions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We have three training organizations prepared to teach workers how to install it.’
    • ‘My mom started teaching me to read at age three.’
    • ‘His mother taught him to read at age three, and ‘once I knew how to read, I was off on my own.’’
    • ‘She taught herself to paint.’
    • ‘His father and grandfather taught him to farm.’
    • ‘We need to find imaginative ways to teach children how to cook.’
    • ‘These tools and websites teach young people how to program.’
    • ‘He taught me to play the piano.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Give information about or instruction in (a subject or skill)
      ‘he came one day each week to teach painting’
      • ‘she teaches me French’
      • ‘It's not just an education system about teaching literacy and numeracy.’
      • ‘They had become self-taught sailors on the lake, teaching themselves the necessary skills and knots.’
      • ‘While the children need to be supervised, the principal argues that it is an excellent way to teach a specialised subject area.’
      • ‘Mountain safety boils down mainly to common sense; you can teach yourself the necessary skills, and there are many excellent books on the subject.’
      • ‘I teach two AP subjects and have a lot of trouble fitting in all that I would like for the course.’
      • ‘When she 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.’
      • ‘European Studies is taught as a subject in the school and many students have entered EU organised competitions with great success.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The subjects must be taught in depth at the school level.’
      • ‘Workshops to teach the homeless new skills have been running for a year.’
      • ‘Parenting is a job and the required skills can be taught.’
      • ‘The subjects must be taught in depth at the school level.’
      • ‘It is an excellent way to teach a specialised subject area.’
      • ‘Teachers have argued passionately for the opportunity to teach the subject they love.’
      • ‘She teaches medical history at Duke University.’
      • ‘For a time, he taught high school English.’
      • ‘I teach art to inner-city school kids.’
      • ‘You just can't start early enough teaching your kids music.’
      • ‘She tried to teach me embroidery.’
      give lessons in, lecture in, give instructions in, inform someone about, familiarize someone with, acquaint someone with, instil, inculcate, explicate, explain, expound
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object Work as a teacher.
      ‘she teaches at the local high school’
      • ‘Both of our teachers have taught in the public schools and consider this a much better situation.’
      • ‘Many teachers are unqualified to teach according to local public school standards.’
      • ‘The three professors whom I determined to have created the most spirit in their classes all taught at a community college.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One faculty member acknowledged that it was the source of her motivation for teaching at a community college.’
      • ‘Consider the fact that teachers almost universally discount their wages in order to teach in private schools.’
      • ‘She has taught at the elementary school level and is currently a teacher educator.’
      • ‘He became a secondary school teacher, teaching in schools at Tilberg and Breda.’
      • ‘If they fail to keep up the GTC's standards, they will lose their licence to teach in state schools.’
      • ‘To further complicate matters, teachers generally teach as if all students are at the same place in their learning development.’
      • ‘I taught at the high school in the morning, and then went home to the hard work.’
      • ‘The majority of these bilingual education teachers taught in transitional bilingual programs.’
      • ‘One of the village's primary school teachers, who taught at the orphanage for two days last year, said he would not go back.’
      • ‘He now teaches at Merivale High School, also in Nepean.’
      • ‘She teaches at a homeschool high school.’
      • ‘He taught in the USA before becoming professor of music at Leeds University.’
      • ‘He currently teaches at New York University.’
      • ‘Did I mention that I used to teach at Oxford?’
      • ‘I retired from the classroom, having taught since 1962.’
      • ‘In 1954, he came to Florida State and taught until 1974.’
  • 2with object and clause Cause (someone) to learn or understand something by example or experience.

    ‘travelling taught me that not everyone shared my beliefs’
    • ‘my upbringing taught me never to be disrespectful to elders’
    • ‘The experience taught me how much it's possible to learn away from home in a new environment.’
    • ‘Experience teaches us, however, that humility often departs when the remembrance of imperfections grows more distant.’
    • ‘Experience teaches us that integrity may be compromised for convenience or to avoid unpleasant consequences.’
    • ‘Experience teaches us that excess doesn't buy us happiness, that money can't insulate us from pain.’
    • ‘Finally, experience teaches us that the fall of a government creates a security gap.’
    • ‘Experience teaches us that if it happens in the United States, it will happen here, sooner rather than later.’
    • ‘When things are going well, experience teaches us that turnouts are relatively lower.’
    • ‘However, don't they always teach us to learn from our mistakes?’
    • ‘He takes a deep breath: ‘But such experiences have taught me about human life.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Experience has taught me that I should be worried if something is constructed using language and concepts which I can't understand.’
    • ‘Experience taught him that art and words were inextricably bound with consciousness.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I hope that this has taught me not to judge people.’
    • ‘Experience taught me that there is usually light at the end of the tunnel.’
    • ‘I hope that this book teaches everyone that there is no obstacle that you cannot overcome.’
    • ‘Bitter experience had taught him never to answer these kinds of questions on live television.’
    • ‘History has taught them that there are no easy answers.’
    1. 2.1with object Encourage someone to accept (something) as a fact or principle.
      ‘the philosophy teaches self-control’
      • ‘Parents are encouraged to teach life lessons with familiar objects and activities.’
      • ‘Why not change a great part of that education to teach strength of character?’
      • ‘Are we teaching them the philosophy and the mission, along with fiscal, staff, and program management skills?’
      • ‘By now, someone reading this is angrily muttering, but it teaches the kids discipline!’
      • ‘When I was a child, we were taught discipline both at home and at school.’
      • ‘I think the sport teaches discipline.’
      • ‘Like all attitudes, tolerance is often taught in subtle ways.’
      • ‘We need to look to schools and parents to teach respect for other people.’
      • ‘His music teaches the importance of forgiveness.’
    2. 2.2 informal Make (someone) less inclined to do something.
      • ‘I'll teach you to throw rocks at my windows’
      • ‘That will teach you to mess with a town boy!’
      • ‘‘I'll teach you to mess with him’ he said, pulling out a knife.’
      • ‘That'll teach you to mess with my friend's shop.’
      • ‘That'll teach me to forget the look-but-don't-touch rule.’
      • ‘That'll teach me to leave cooking food unattended while I go to answer the phone.’
      • ‘That'll teach you to laugh at me.’
      • ‘I guess that'll teach me to eat too many cookies!’
      • ‘I'll teach them to mock me.’


  • A teacher.

    • ‘she came to say ‘Hi!’ to her old teach’
    • ‘I entered the class interrupting the lecture the teach was giving.’
    • ‘Everyone's eyes shift from the teach, Mrs. Stamos, to us.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 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
    View synonyms


The verbs teach and learn do not have the same meaning and should not be used interchangeably: see learn


    teach school
    • Be a schoolteacher.

      ‘she taught school until 1920’
      • ‘I had such affection for it as a kid, and I later taught school and high school out there for about seven years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She found her way to New York, where she taught school, until Morris hired her and wooed her.’
      • ‘I teach school and our school colour is red and black.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Matt and Ruth live cozily in Camden, Maine, where he works as a family doctor and she teaches school.’
      • ‘Troy's wife, Susan, teaches school in Smith Center.’
    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’, deigma ‘sample’.