Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Learn by Heart (To).

 Learn (1 syl.).Learned (2 syl.). 
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E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Learn by Heart (To).
 
The heart is the seat of understanding; thus the Scripture speaks of men “wise in heart;” and “slow of heart” means dull of understanding. To learn by heart is to learn and understand; to learn by rote is to learn so as to be able to repeat; to learn by memory is to commit to memory without reference to understanding what is so learnt. However, we employ the phrase commonly as a synonym for committing to memory.   1
 


 Learn (1 syl.).Learned (2 syl.). 

 
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