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See also: Teach



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

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-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), Latin dīcō (speak, say, tell), Ancient Greek δείκνυμι (deíknumi, show, point out, explain, teach). More at token.


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

  1. (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
  2. (ditransitive) To pass on knowledge to.
    Can you teach me to sew?  Can you teach sewing to me?
    Synonyms: educate, instruct
  3. (intransitive) To pass on knowledge, especially as one's profession; to act as a teacher.
    She used to teach at university.
    Antonym: learn
  4. (ditransitive) To cause to learn or understand.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in 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”, 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.
  5. (ditransitive) To cause to know the disagreeable consequences of some action.
    I'll teach you to make fun of me!
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from teach (verb)


Etymology 2[edit]

Clipping of teacher


teach (plural teaches)

  1. (derogatory, 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.
  • (genitive singular)
  • tithe (plural)
  • tithí (Ulster)


From Old Irish tech, from Proto-Celtic *tegos, from Proto-Indo-European *tegos (cover, roof).



teach m (genitive singular , nominative plural tithe)

  1. house
    1. habitation, dwelling
    2. public building
    3. structure resembling a 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]