Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The definition is:

A person just starting to learn a skill or take part in an activity

Which makes me think it's time-related, although I see it's used as a synonym for novice which relates to skill.

What exactly does it mean?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Mehper C. Palavuzlar, kiamlaluno, simchona, MrHen, Hugo Dec 12 '11 at 21:29

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If we think about these phrases, 'He is an eternal beginner.' (sarcastic- 'he never really learns') and 'He is a quick starter.' (praise- 'he learns pretty fast'), I think beginner relates to skill and not time. You begin to learn, and will be a beginner until you have learnt something.

share|improve this answer
@mplungjan: You beat me to it by 31 secs! The time it took me to type out the answer :) – Kris Dec 8 '11 at 9:42
Mplungjan is not a beginner at speed-typing. :-) – Monica Cellio Dec 8 '11 at 15:51

In my opinion: Skill unless referring to someone who founded something

You can be a beginner forever.


someone new to a field or activity initiate, tiro, tyro, novice
unskilled person - a person who lacks technical training
abecedarian - a novice learning the rudiments of some subject apprentice, prentice,
learner - works for an expert to learn a trade cub, greenhorn,
rookie - an awkward and inexperienced youth landlubber, landsman,
lubber - an inexperienced sailor; a sailor on the first voyage fledgeling, fledgling, newbie, newcomer, entrant, freshman, neophyte,
starter - any new participant in some activity
tenderfoot - an inexperienced person (especially someone inexperienced in outdoor living)
trainee - someone who is being trained

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.