2. To ascertain information, or techniques, by inquiry, research, or investigation: The fitness trainer showed Trina and Charles how they can learn more about taking better care of their bodies with regular exercise.
3. To receive instruction concerning a subject that can be fixed in the mind: Sherry had a daily routine with a retired teacher of Russian who helped her learn the Russian language by practicing her speaking with more accurate pronunciations and by increasing her vocabulary skills.
4. To acquire an understanding or a skill: Peter was learning how to dance, to skate, to play the violin, and to study his academic subjects at the university. His schedule was full!
5. To gain knowledge by rote; that is, to memorize by repetition without necessarily exercising one's understanding: Tonia has a hobby and is learning numerous poems by memory.
6. Etymology: from Old English lernen, leornen; "to get knowledge, to be cultivated"; from Anglo-Saxon leornian; from the root of Anglo-Saxon lran, "to teach".
Historically, there is a distinction between learning and "teaching"
Old English "leornian", the ancestor of our current learn, meant "to learn" or "to study", never "to teach"; however, during the Middle English period, the word came to be used in the last sense as well.
Shakespeare wrote, "A thousand more mischances than this one have learn'd me how to brook this patiently" in his Two Gentlemen of Verona. It was with the prescriptivism of the eighteenth century that this use of the word came to be frowned upon.
Samuel Johnson, in his Dictionary of the English Language (1755), could not, with the example of such respectable authors as Spenser and Shakespeare before him, call this usage "wrong"; instead he wrote, "This sense is now obsolete." Since that time, however, grammarians have not hesitated to brand it "illiterate"; so, it is now considered unacceptable English to say, "No one ever learned me how to talk right."
Good education is always a balance between those who know how to teach well and those whose goal is to learn everything they can.