See also: book learning
- Knowledge acquired from reading books, as opposed to knowledge gained through experience or feeling; theoretical or academic knowledge as opposed to practical or common-sensical knowledge.
1841, Charles Dickens, chapter 29, in Barnaby Rudge:
- They are like some wise men, who, learning to know each planet by its Latin name, have quite forgotten such small heavenly constellations as Charity, Forbearance, Universal Love, and Mercy . . . and who, looking upward at the spangled sky, see nothing there but the reflection of their own great wisdom and book-learning.
1909, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 30, in Anne of Avonlea:
- "That's what college ought to be for, instead of for turning out a lot of B.A.'s, so chock full of book-learning and vanity that there ain't room for anything else."