When your teacher stands up in front of you and teaches by talking about the latest chapter you've read or explaining how to do a new math problem - he is giving a lecture.

A lecture is most often used to describe a method of teaching, particularly popular in college, where professors give organized talks as lessons to large groups of students. It is not quite as positive when children level the term at their parents — "Don't lecture me!" — for criticizing their clothes, their friends or their music. Lecture can also be used to describe any public talk, most often by an expert.

Definitions of lecture
  1. noun
    a speech that is open to the public
    “he attended a lecture on telecommunications”
    synonyms: public lecture, talk
    see moresee less
    type of:
    address, speech
    the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience
  2. noun
    teaching by giving a discourse on some subject (typically to a class)
    synonyms: lecturing
    see moresee less
    the act of giving a talk to an audience
    chalk talk
    a talk that uses a blackboard and chalk
    type of:
    instruction, pedagogy, teaching
    the profession of a teacher
  3. noun
    a lengthy rebuke
    “a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline”
    synonyms: speech, talking to
    see moresee less
    preaching, sermon
    a moralistic rebuke
    curtain lecture
    a private lecture to a husband by his wife
    type of:
    rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval
    an act or expression of criticism and censure
  4. verb
    deliver a lecture or talk
    “Did you ever lecture at Harvard?”
    synonyms: talk
    see moresee less
    preach, prophesy
    deliver a sermon
    evangelise, evangelize
    preach the gospel (to)
    type of:
    instruct, learn, teach
    impart skills or knowledge to
  5. verb
    censure severely or angrily
    synonyms: bawl out, berate, call down, call on the carpet, chew out, chew up, chide, dress down, have words, jaw, lambast, lambaste, rag, rebuke, remonstrate, reprimand, reproof, scathe, scold, take to task, trounce, vituperate
    see moresee less
    castigate, chasten, chastise, correct, objurgate
    censure severely
    brush down, tell off
    criticize harshly, usually via an electronic medium
    type of:
    criticise, criticize, knock, pick apart
    find fault with; express criticism of; point out real or perceived flaws
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week