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(hyphenated if used before a noun) slang Of or characterized by an earlier era or older style. Can either refer to that which is considered antiquated or old-fashioned, or else to that which is remembered fondly or nostalgically. My dad likes to play music on this old-school record player. I don't know why he doesn't just get an iPod. Whoa, a vintage Ford Mustang. That's so old school, man! Her parents are pretty old school when it comes to living together before marriage.
the school of life
The informal education one receives by learning from one's experiences, both good and bad, rather than a formal educational institution. My uncle might not have made it past grade school, but he's learned more from the school of life than most of our professors. A proper education is indeed important, but do not neglect the lessons you receive from the school of life.
obsolete A house of prostitution; a brothel. ("Vaulting" being an allusion to sexual intercourse.) To such a depth of degradation he hast fallen, that his abode hast been a vaulting school for a fortnight past.
New and modern. The opposite of the more common descriptor "old school." Needing to post your every movement on social media is certainly a new school way of life—we had nothing like that when I was a kid. I'm intrigued by this new school method of multiplication.
rule the school
slang To be the most popular or influential in one's school. Now that we're seniors, we're going to rule the school! The popular kids always think they rule the school, but not this year!
cut classand cut school
to skip a school class or a day of school without an excuse. As a joke, one day all the students cut their math class and went to lunch. Jane was grounded after she cut school last Friday.
from the old schooland of the old school
Fig. holding attitudes or ideas that were popular and important in the past, but which are no longer considered relevant or in line with modern trends. (See also of the old school) Grammar is not taught much now, but fortunately my son has a teacher from the old school. Aunt Jane is from the old school. She never goes out without wearing a hat and gloves.
How do you like school?
a phrase used to start a conversation with a school-age person. Bob: Well, Billy, how do you like school? Billy: I hate it. Bob: Too bad. Mary: How do you like school? Bob: It's okay. Almost everything else is better, though.
Never tell tales out of school.
Prov. Do not tell secrets; do not gossip. Fred: I just learned something really scandalous about the president of our company. Ellen: Well, I don't want to hear it. You shouldn't tell tales out of school.
school of hard knocks
Fig. the school of life's experiences, as opposed to a formal, classroom education. I didn't go to college, but I went to the school of hard knocks. I learned everything by experience.
school of thought
a particular philosophy or way of thinking about something. One school of thought holds that cats cause allergic reactions. I come from the school of thought that believes people should always be polite.
school someone in something
to train, discipline, or coach someone in something. The voice coach schooled the singer in excellent breathing techniques. We were schooled in oratory and debate. She schooled herself in patience.
tell tales out of school
to tell secrets or spread rumors. I wish that John would keep quiet. He's telling tales out of school again. If you tell tales out of school a lot, people won't know when to believe you.
to instruct students in a school Buller left journalism to teach school, and he wrote several books about his experiences.
of the old school
if someone is of the old school, they have traditional ideas about how to do something and they do not accept new ways of doing it She was a teacher of the old school and believed in strict discipline.
the old school tie
the way in which men who have been to the same expensive private school help each other to find good jobs The old school tie still has enormous power in many City companies.See an old head on young shoulders, You can't teach an old dog new tricks
the school of hard knocks
learning through difficult experiences An early training in the school of hard knocks was good preparation for a career in politics.
to tell someone in authority about something bad that someone has done because you want to cause trouble for them (often + about ) She wasn't very popular at school - she was the sort of kid who was always telling tales about other kids. I had half a mind to tell my boss about him but I didn't want her to think I was telling tales.See can't tell arse from elbow, live to tell the tale
Absent oneself from a class or other, usually mandatory event, as in If he cuts one more class he'll fail the course. [Late 1700s]
school of hard knocks
The practical experience of life, including hardship and disappointments. For example, A self-made man, he never went to college but came up through the school of hard knocks. This idiom uses knock, "a blow," as a metaphor for a setback. [Mid-1800s]
Divulge secrets, as in Don't trust him; he's apt to tell tales. This expression was first recorded about 1350. A variant, tell tales out of school, first recorded in 1530, presumably alluded to schoolchildren gossiping but was soon broadened to revealing secret or private information. Both may be obsolescent.
old schooland old skool
mod. vintage; from an earlier time; retro. (Generally positive. As in the well-established expression from the old school.) His way of dealing with people is strictly old school.
tv. to teach someone something, usually as a demonstration of power. (As in I’ll teach you a thing or two which suggests violence.) Am I gonna have to school you in how to act?
old school tie
A social or business network of graduates of a secondary school, college, or university in which the members help each other because of their common bond. Among the sartorial details of the Harry Potter movies were the distinctive striped neckties that represented each house. The ties echoed those worn by students at real-life British boarding schools and universities and at American prep schools and colleges. Many alumni continue to sport the neckwear for the rest of their lives to show their academic heritage and to allow themselves to be recognized by fellow graduates. Small wonder, then, that this feeling of pride and sense of community makes these alumni kindly disposed to their colleagues, willing if not eager to help them find employment or membership and to gain advancement. In that sense, “tie” refers both to the cravat and to the interpersonal relationship. A similar expression, “old boy network,” comes from the British expression for a graduate of certain upper-crust boarding schools: As a graduate of Eton, James Bond was an Eton old boy.