From Middle English techen, from Old English tǣċan (“to show, declare, demonstrate; teach, instruct, train; assign, prescribe, direct; warn; persuade”), from Proto-Germanic *taikijaną (“to show”), from Proto-Indo-European *deyǵe-, *deyḱe- (“to show, point out, declare, tell”). Cognate with Scots tech, teich (“to teach”), German zeigen (“to show, point out”), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐍄𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌰𐌿 (gateihau, “to announce, declare, tell”), Latin dīcō (“speak, say, tell”), Ancient Greek δείκνυμι (deíknumi, “show, point out, explain, teach”). More at token.
- (obsolete, transitive) To show (someone) the way; to guide, conduct.
- (transitive) To pass on knowledge to.
- Can you teach me to sew? Can you teach sewing to me?
- (intransitive) To pass on knowledge, especially as one's profession; to act as a teacher.
- She used to teach at university.
- (transitive) To cause to learn or understand.
1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, The Celebrity:
- The humor of my proposition appealed more strongly to Miss Trevor than I had looked for, and from that time forward she became her old self again; […]. Now she had come to look upon the matter in its true proportions, and her anticipation of a possible chance of teaching him a lesson was a pleasure to behold.
2013 September-October, Rob Dorit, “Making Life from Scratch”, American Scientist:
- Deep Blue taught us a great deal about the power of the human mind precisely because it could not reproduce the intuitive and logical leaps of Kasparov’s mind. A truly synthetic cell, built from scratch or even from preexisting components, will be a cell without ancestry, and it, too, will teach us a great deal about the underlying complexities of life without actually reproducing them.
- (intransitive, to pass on knowledge): learn
- give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
teach (plural teaches)
Forms with the definite article
|Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.
- "teaċ" in Foclóir Gaeḋilge agus Béarla, Irish Texts Society, 1927, by Patrick S. Dinneen.