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See also: Teach



  • IPA(key): /tiːt͡ʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːtʃ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English techen, from Old English tǣċan (to show, declare, demonstrate; teach, instruct, train; assign, prescribe, direct; warn; persuade), from Proto-West Germanic *taikijan, from Proto-Germanic *taikijaną (to show), from Proto-Indo-European *deyḱ- (to show).

Cognate with Scots tech, teich (to teach), German zeigen (to show, point out), zeihen (accuse, blame), Gothic 𐌲𐌰𐍄𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌰𐌽 (gateihan, to announce, declare, tell, show, display), Latin dīcō (speak, say, tell), Ancient Greek δείκνυμι (deíknumi, show, point out, explain, teach), Sanskrit दिशति (diśati, to point out, show, tell, teach). More at token.


teach (third-person singular simple present teaches, present participle teaching, simple past and past participle taught)

  1. (ditransitive) To pass on knowledge to.
    Can you teach me to sew?  Can you teach sewing to me?
    Synonyms: educate, instruct
  2. (intransitive, stative) To pass on knowledge generally, especially as one's profession; to act as a teacher.
    She used to teach at university.
    Antonym: learn
  3. (ditransitive) To cause (someone) to learn or understand (something).
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter VIII, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      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”, in 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.
  4. (ditransitive) To cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action.
    I'll teach you to make fun of me!
  5. (obsolete, transitive) To show (someone) the way; to guide, conduct; to point, indicate.
    ‘The bliss is there’, mumbled the old man and taught to Heaven.
    • c1450, Mandeville's Travelsː
      Blessed God of might (the) most.. teach us the right way unto that bliss that lasteth aye.
    • c1460, Cursor Mundiː
      Till thy sweet sun uprose, thou keptest all our lay, how we should keep our belief there taught'st thou us the way.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter V, in Le Morte Darthur, book VI:
      So thus within a whyle as they thus talked the nyghte passed / and the daye shone / and thenne syre launcelot armed hym / and took his hors / and they taught hym to the Abbaye and thyder he rode within the space of two owrys
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from teach (verb)


Etymology 2[edit]

Clipping of teacher.


teach (plural teaches)

  1. (informal, usually as a term of address) teacher



Alternative forms[edit]

  • tigh dative; has replaced the nominative in Munster Irish
  • toigh (Ulster) dative; replaced the nominative in East Ulster.


From Old Irish tech, from Proto-Celtic *tegos, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)tég-os (cover, roof). Cognate with English thatch.



teach m (genitive singular , nominative plural tithe)

  1. house


Derived terms[edit]


Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
teach theach dteach
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Further reading[edit]



From Middle English techen, from Old English tǣċan, from Proto-West Germanic *taikijan.


teach (simple past teigkh or teight, past participle ee-teight)

  1. to hand or give
      Teach mee.
      Hand to me.


  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 71