lesson(redirected from lessons)
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learn (one's) lesson
To learn through painful experience not to do something, often something one had been warned about or knew might be risky. I told you that you'd feel awful if you drank that much wine. I hope you've learned your lesson. I certainly learned my lesson about buying something from a stranger online.
teach someone a lesson
to get even with someone for bad behavior. John tripped me, so I punched him. That ought to teach him a lesson. That taught me a lesson. I won't do it again.
learn one's lesson
Profit from experience, especially an unhappy one. For example, From now on she'd read the instructions first; she'd learned her lesson. Also see hard way.
read a lecture
Also, read a lesson. Issue a reprimand, as in Dad read us a lecture after the teacher phoned and complained. The first term dates from the late 1500s, the variant from the early 1600s. Also see read the riot act; teach a lesson.
teach a lesson
Punish in order to prevent a recurrence of bad behavior. For example, Timmy set the wastebasket on fire; that should teach him a lesson about playing with matches . This term uses lesson in the sense of "a punishment or rebuke," a usage dating from the late 1500s. Also see learn one's lesson.