I'm looking for idiom like "catch on fast".

How else can you say a quick learner and a short learning curve?

  • 5
    The expression "short learning curve" (a derivative of the more common "steep learning curve") attaches to the learning process associated with acquiring some particular skill, not to the learner himself. To describe the person, you've already got what's idiomatically the most common usage by far - quick learner. Stick with it. Nov 9, 2013 at 21:28
  • 6
    quick learner or quick study are both very common.
    – Jim
    Nov 10, 2013 at 1:00
  • a fast learner is someone who can easily master a new concept with the minimum time compared to others of the same age.
    – user19769
    May 19, 2015 at 12:13
  • See also: What is a word in English that means “able to learn new things quickly”?. Personally, I like receptive and sponge, but they aren't idioms. For an idiom, bright as a button could work. May 19, 2015 at 15:00

3 Answers 3


Quick/fast learner is the most appropriate term you can convey the message without any ambiguity.

Nevertheless, apt pupil, sharp, quick-witted etc. are quite close to the term. Another term (a single word) close to it is -

Clever (adj) - quick at learning and understanding things.

However, the above word is quite common in BrE to describe someone with a steep learning curve.


Another possibility is quick on the uptake. Alternatively, a quick learner can be described as sharp "Don't worry about her getting overwhelmed by her new job - she's sharp."


For sponge one could say....Soaks up information like a sponge!

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