learn (something) by heart

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learn (something) by heart

To learn something very thoroughly; to memorize something. Ask Becky to recite the poem—she learned it by heart. You don't have to learn these principles by heart, we just want you to have a basic understanding of them.
See also: by, heart, learn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

learn something by heart

Fig. to learn something so well that it can be written or recited without thinking; to memorize something. The director told me to learn my speech by heart. I had to go over it many times before I learned it by heart.
See also: by, heart, learn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

learn by heart

Also, learn by rote. See under by heart.
See also: by, heart, learn
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
"Up with the lark, hymns and portions of Scripture had to be learned by heart till 8 o'clock, when there were family-prayers, then breakfast, which I was never able to enjoy, partly from the fast already undergone, and partly from the outlook I dreaded.
These are the things that make the gamut of joy in landscape to midland-bred souls--the things they toddled among, or perhaps learned by heart standing between their father's knees while he drove leisurely.
"As for you, mother, I don't dare to speak," he went on, as though repeating a lesson learned by heart. "It is only to-day that I have been able to realise a little how distressed you must have been here yesterday, waiting for me to come back."
It did occur to him that he could perhaps get some help by praying for it; but as the prayers he said every evening were forms learned by heart, he rather shrank from the novelty and irregularity of introducing an extempore passage on a topic of petition for which he was not aware of any precedent.
Generally it is the custom for the speech at a veselija to be taken out of one of the books and learned by heart; but in his youthful days Dede Antanas used to be a scholar, and really make up all the love letters of his friends.
Thousands of people earn their living from crafts they had learned by heart from their ancestors.
"I used to memorise everything I learned by heart. The military is very physical so it was easy to hide.
For individuals, a poem learned by heart could be a lifeline - to grapple with overwhelming emotion or preserve sanity amid the brutalities of prison and warfare.
Once, I wanted to get even and so I inflicted the Dewey Decimal System that I had learned by heart upon an unsuspecting classmate.
Through trying and failing, the confidence of the learners may be destroyed, or they may be reduced to the level of parrots, mouthing lines learned by heart for an audience without regard to what they actually mean.
Usually in Eid children walk to neighbors and congratulate them by special rhymes called 'Zharapazan aitu' which they learned by heart before.
"This child who came here should become a good Qari (one who has learned by heart the holy book) and Islamic scholar.
Britain's Guardian newspaper later spoke to the child, who told it she had learned by heart the contents of a letter, in Spanish and English.
IT was a poem we learned by heart as children, one that was stirring and tragic.
Industrial Workers of the World singer Joe Hill once said, "A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over." We would do well to add If I Had a Hammer to our political playlists and to learn from David Rovics' songs generally as we build our movements to bring about social change.