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See also: book learning


Alternative forms[edit]


book-learning (uncountable)

  1. Theoretical or academic knowledge acquired by reading books and/or through formal education, as opposed to practical or empirical knowledge of real life and the real world, gained through experience, or native as street smarts, common sense, or intuition.
    • 1841, Charles Dickens, chapter 29, in Barnaby Rudge:
      They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy ... and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their own great wisdom and book-learning.
    • 1909, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 30, in Anne of Avonlea:
      "That's what college ought to be for, instead of for turning out a lot of B.A.'s, so chock full of book-learning and vanity that there ain't room for anything else."

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