Simple Definition of instruct
: to teach (someone) a subject, skill, etc.
: to give (someone) an order or command
law : to give an order or an explanation of a law to (a jury)
Examples of instruct
She instructed us that we were to remain in our seats.
The judge instructed the jury that they should disregard the testimony of the last witness.
She advised him to instruct a solicitor.
Origin of instruct
Middle English, from Latin instructus, past participle of instruere, from in- + struere to build — more at structure
First Known Use: 15th century
Synonym Discussion of instruct
command, order, bid, enjoin, direct, instruct, charge mean to issue orders. command and order imply authority and usually some degree of formality and impersonality. command stresses official exercise of authority <a general commanding troops>. order may suggest peremptory or arbitrary exercise <ordered his employees about like slaves>. bid suggests giving orders peremptorily (as to children or servants) <she bade him be seated>. enjoin implies giving an order or direction authoritatively and urgently and often with admonition or solicitude <a sign enjoining patrons to be quiet>. direct and instruct both connote expectation of obedience and usually concern specific points of procedure or method, instruct sometimes implying greater explicitness or formality <directed her assistant to hold all calls> <the judge instructed the jury to ignore the remark>. charge adds to enjoin an implication of imposing as a duty or responsibility <charged by the President with a secret mission>.
INSTRUCT Defined for Kids
Definition of instruct
1 : to give knowledge to : teach <A tutor instructs him in math.>
2 : to give information to <I instructed him that school was closed.>
3 : to give directions or commands to <She instructed us to stay seated.>
Seen and Heard
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