Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
a little learning is a dangerous thing
Having a precursory or limited amount of learning about something can make one overestimate how well they will be able to do something much larger in scope or scale. Just because she painted her room by herself, now she thinks she can do the entire house—inside and out! A little learning is a dangerous thing, I tell you.
An experience that helps or allows one to change and mature. That painful break-up was ultimately a growth experience—now, I only date people who truly care about me.
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.
learn (something) from the bottom up
1. To learn or become knowledgeable about every or nearly every aspect of something, from the most mundane to the most nuanced. After working at this company for nearly 30 years, I've learned it from the bottom up. As the chief tax law specialist, it's my role to learn these new tax regulations from the bottom up.
2. To become knowledgeable about or skilled in something by beginning at the most basic level and then working one's way up to the more complicated or difficult aspects. I actually never had any sort of preternatural skill with mathematics—I had to learn it from the bottom up, just like most other students. I hard forgotten everything I knew about Japanese, so when I started studying it again in my 30s, I had to learn it from the bottom up all over again.
learn (something) the hard way
To learn or discover something through personal experience, especially that which is difficult, painful, or unpleasant. Starting your own business is really tough. I had to learn that the hard way. Everyone will tell you that becoming a parent is challenging, but you never really know what that means until you learn about it the hard way.
learn a thing or two
To learn a bit more than one previously knew. You could learn a thing or two from Jeff—he's been with the company longer than anyone else. I'm hoping to learn a thing or two at this seminar about setting up my own business.
learn about (someone or something)
1. To become knowledgeable or informed about someone or something. We learned about the rotation of the planets in science class today. The point of the game is for kids to learn about important historical figures in a fun, exciting way.
2. To discover or uncover some particular information about someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "learn" and "about. I learned something interesting about the way gravity works today. See if you can learn any dirty secrets about our opponent.
See also: learn
To become knowledgeable about or experienced in something through some activity or behavior. Learning by rote has been proven by many studies to be nearly useless in the long-term retention of information. You've got to learn by doing these things for yourself.
learn by rote
To use repetition to memorize something, as opposed to acquiring a full or robust comprehension of it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "learn" and "by." Learning by rote has been proven by many studies to be nearly useless in the long-term retention of information. There are so many characters in the Japanese alphabets that I have to learn them by rote.
learn from (someone or something)
1. To acquire knowledge, wisdom, or experience from someone or something. I learned from the greatest still-life painter in the world. I'm trying to learn from my past mistakes.
2. To glean or acquire specific knowledge, wisdom, or experience from someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "learn" and "from." I'm going to be sad to see you go, boss—I've learned everything I know about the business world from you. I'm learning a lot about the way this works just by watching what other people do.
See also: learn
learn of (someone or something)
To discover or become informed about someone or something. By the time I learned of his treachery, he had already escaped with the diamonds. We've learned of an artist in the south of France who would be perfect for our project.
An experiences that teaches one something. I didn't love that job, but it was a good learning experience and showed me that I need to work in a different field.
there is no royal road to learning
There is no means of learning something that is easier or requires less effort. I know you want to skip all of this boring theory stuff, but you won't get far with the interesting parts if you don't understand the necessary foundations. There is no royal road to learning, after all.
growth experienceand growth opportunity; learning experience
Euph. an unpleasant experience. This job has been a growth experience for me. I've learned so much. Jim said that his trip to Mexico turned out to be a real learning experience.
learn a thing or two
(about someone or something) Go to a thing or two (about someone or something).
learn by something
to learn [something] from some kind of actual experience. The best way to learn is to learn by doing. The best way to learn to sail is to learn by sailing.
learn something by rote
Fig. to learn something by memorizing without giving any thought to what is being learned. I learned history by rote; then I couldn't pass the test that required me to think. If you learn things by rote, you'll never understand them.
little knowledge is a dangerous thingand little learning is a dangerous thing
Prov. Cliché If you only know a little about something, you may feel you are qualified to make judgments when, in fact, you are not. After Bill read one book on the history of Venezuela, he felt he was an authority on the subject, but he wound up looking like a fool in discussions with people who knew a lot more about it than he did. A little learning is a dangerous thing.
There is no royal road to learning.
Prov. Learning things requires work. Sue: I don't see why we have to do homework every night. Why can't we just listen to the lectures? Nancy: There is no royal road to learning.
little knowledge is a dangerous thing, a
Also, a little learning is a dangerous thing. Knowing a little about something tempts one to overestimate one's abilities. For example, I know you've assembled furniture, but that doesn't mean you can build an entire wall system; remember, a little knowledge . This maxim, originally a line from Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (1709), has been repeated with slight variations ever since. It is still heard, although less frequently, and sometimes shortened, as in the example.
little learning is a dangerous thing, a
Knowing a little may make one mistakenly assume that one knows everything. This expression is a direct quotation from Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism (1709), which echoed a sentiment stated in the sixteenth century by the French essayist Montaigne.