from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A concrete illustration of a moral or principle.
  • noun A lesson taught by using a material object.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lesson in which instruction is communicated, or a subject made clear, by presenting to the eye the object to be described, or a representation of it.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a lesson taught (especially to young children) using a familiar or unusual object as a focus
  • noun an example that typifies a principle
  • noun a punishment intended as a deterrent to others
  • noun idiomatic Anything used as an example or lesson which serves to warn others as to the outcomes that result from a particular action or behavior, as exemplified by the fates of those who followed that course.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun punishment intended as a warning to others


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word object lesson.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.