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1. a discourse on a particular subject given or read to an audience
2. the text of such a discourse
3. a method of teaching by formal discourse



systematic, consecutive presentation of instructional material, or some issue, theme, section, subject, or methods of science. There are academic lectures and public lectures. The academic lecture is one of the principal forms of the instructional process and one of the main teaching methods in higher educational institutions. In the higher educational institutions of the USSR, 50–60 percent of the teaching time in the humanities specialties and 40–50 percent in the technical and agricultural specialties is allocated to lectures.

Lectures acquired the character of an oral presentation of an academic course (usually in Latin) in 18th-century universities (in medieval universities, the lecture consisted of the instructor’s reading and commenting on the text of a given book). A systematic lecture course in which material is presented consecutively according to a curriculum includes introductory, orientation (in the correspondence and evening educational systems), ordinary, survey, and concluding lectures. Lectures are used in the secondary special and vocational and technical educational systems, in course teaching, in the higher classes of general education secondary schools, and in the political education system. Public lectures, occasional and cyclical, are one of the main forms of propaganda and dissemination of political and scientific knowledge in the system of cultural and educational work.

The main requirements for lectures are scholarly approach; ideological content; accessibility; unity of form and content; stimulating presentation; and organic connection with other forms of study, such as seminars, laboratory work, and training and industrial practice. Of particular importance are lectures that make use of the visual (film or television) demonstration of imperceptible physical, chemical, and biological processes. Lectures have been broadcast on radio and television since the 1950’s. Certain higher educational institutions publish the lecture courses of their leading professors; these publications are used in the educational process along with textbooks and teaching aids.

References in classic literature ?
So this German attends only the lectures which belong to the chosen branch, and drinks his beer and tows his dog around and has a general good time the rest of the day.
At one lecture two Japanese gentlemen were induced to talk to one another in their own language, via the telephone.
During the lecture the train had been making good progress, and towards half-past twelve it reached the northwest border of the Great Salt Lake.
And, now I come to think of it, there would hardly be time for more than one Lecture.
Such a yell of welcome broke forth when his black beard first protruded round the corner that I began to suspect Tarp Henry was right in his surmise, and that this assemblage was there not merely for the sake of the lecture, but because it had got rumored abroad that the famous Professor would take part in the proceedings.
I have said I like them, and I do like them--but every time they read me a scorcher of a lecture I mean to talk back in print.
If he refuses to listen to the lecture and goes on the war path, then, unpleasantly for me, I assure you, I shall be compelled to thrash him and his village, first: and, next, I shall triple the fine he must pay and lecture the law into him a trifle more compendiously.
In that moment of mad happiness that she should go out with him, go to a lecture with him - with him, Martin Eden - she soared so far above him that there seemed nothing else for him to do than die for her.
Waldman, a fellow professor, would lecture upon chemistry the alternate days that he omitted.
He had only to say that he had lost it at cards or something of that sort, and at the same time promise solemnly not to miss a single lecture for three months on end.
One lecture treads so quickly on the heels of another, that none are remembered; and the course of this month may be safely repeated next, with its charm of novelty unbroken, and its interest unabated.
You are just in time, sir,' said Bella; 'I am going to give you your first curtain lecture.