learn by rote

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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.
See also: by, learn, rote
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: by, learn, rote
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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