American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

School of hard knocks

DEFINITION

Earned wisdom through experiential methods. Learned about life through tough and painful experiences. ‘Hard knocks’ suggests a lot of failures and bruises as one continued in an occupation or path in life. (Contrast with Trial and error.)

“Grandpa never went to school, but he was a good businessman because he learned by the school of hard knocks.”

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