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instruct

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verb in·struct \in-ˈstrəkt\

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)

Full Definition of instruct

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to give knowledge to :  teach, train

  3. 2 :  to provide with authoritative information or advice <the judge instructed the jury>

  4. 3 :  to give an order or command to :  direct

Examples of instruct

  1. She instructed us that we were to remain in our seats.

  2. The judge instructed the jury that they should disregard the testimony of the last witness.

  3. 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

teach, instruct, educate, train, discipline, school mean to cause to acquire knowledge or skill. teach applies to any manner of imparting information or skill so that others may learn <taught us a lot about our planet>. instruct suggests methodical or formal teaching <instructs raw recruits in military drill>. educate implies development of the mind <more things than formal schooling serve to educate a person>. train stresses instruction and drill with a specific end in view <trained foreign pilots to operate the new aircraft>. discipline implies training in habits of order and precision <a disciplined mind>. school implies training or disciplining especially in what is hard to master <schooled the horse in five gaits>.

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>.


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