Learn the ropes

Idiom

Learn the ropes

Definition

The process of acquiring knowledge or skills in order to become proficient in a certain area.

Examples

I’m new here, so I’m still learning the ropes

He had to learn the ropes before he was able to work on the project

Origin

The origin of this phrase is uncertain, but some believe it is derived from the phrase ‘to know the ropes’ which was used to refer to the knowledge a sailor needed in order to work on a ship.