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1484; early spellings include lernynges.



  1. (proscribed) plural of learning

Usage notes[edit]

The term learnings was not in common use in the 19th and 20th century, though the countable noun sense learning ‎(thing learned) dates to Middle English (14th century; see leornyng), and the plural learnings to Early Modern English. Note that early use of learnings often have the sense or connotation “teachings” (see examples above), as was the case of learn generally. It has found occasional use for centuries, including by Shakespeare,[1][2] and parallel constructions are commonplace – compare teachings and findings.

However, from circa 2000 it became a buzzword in business speak, particularly in constructions such as “key learnings” or “apply these learnings”; this was preceded by occasional educational use from 1950s. Some disapprove of this, and it sounds ungrammatical enough to be used as an example of broken English, as in the comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006). Suggested alternatives include lessons learned, “things one learned” – or simply lessonsdiscoveries, findings, insights, and takeaways.

Most major dictionaries do not label the word as uncountable.


Coordinate terms[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989
  2. ^ First use of “learnings”?, English Stack Exchange

External links[edit]