instruct

verb
in·​struct | \ in-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce instruct (audio) \
instructed; instructing; instructs

Definition of instruct

transitive verb

1 : to give knowledge to : teach, train
2 : to provide with authoritative information or advice the judge instructed the jury
3 : to give an order or command to : direct

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of instruct in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Kids are forbidden from being in immigration detention more than 20 days, according to the Flores v. Reno agreement, a California case that the executive order instructs the attorney general to renegotiate. Fabiola Santiago, miamiherald, "Kids in cages did not move Trump to end separation policy. It was our outrage.," 20 June 2018 Remove the cap of an Evzio auto-injector — a yellow-and-purple device the size of a cigarette pack — and a voice prompt instructs the user to place the cartridge against the thigh of a person who has overdosed. Max Blau, STAT, "Donations of $4,500 overdose antidote were PR gold for drug maker — but some kits were close to expiring," 18 June 2018 At the conclusion of Raptors workouts, Toronto puts 2:30 on the clock, instructing players to shoot threes off the catch following full-court sprints and pull-up triples from the wings and the top of the key. Jake Fischer, SI.com, "Dakota Mathias's Skill Set Doesn't Stop at the Three-Point Line," 14 June 2018 The Labour whips -- who enforce discipline in the party -- instructed lawmakers to abstain on the amendment. Thomas Penny, Bloomberg.com, "‘Disingenuous’ and ‘Insulted’: Labour’s Brexit Divisions Exposed," 14 June 2018 According to the Greek biographer and essayist Plutarch, Caesar really was instructed to beware the Ides of March by a soothsayer. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "So, What Exactly Are the Ides of March?," 15 Mar. 2019 After a personal plea from Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump last month instructed the Commerce Department to find a solution to save ZTE. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Why ZTE Shares Are Plunging Again," 19 June 2018 The county employees and staff from Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette instructed students in the classroom while their teachers observed. Molly Harbarger, OregonLive.com, "Multnomah County sues Trump administration over change to abstinence-only sex ed funding," 8 June 2018 Just last month Ryan instructed top aide Jonathan Burks to demand Conroy's resignation, saying he was dissatisfied with Conroy's pastoral services. Fox News, "Ryan meets with House chaplain he ousted, then reinstated," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instruct.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of instruct

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for instruct

Middle English, from Latin instructus, past participle of instruere, from in- + struere to build — more at structure

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Statistics for instruct

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instruct

The first known use of instruct was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for instruct

instruct

verb

English Language Learners Definition of instruct

formal
: 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)

instruct

verb
in·​struct | \ in-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce instruct (audio) \
instructed; instructing

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.

instruct

transitive verb
in·​struct

Legal Definition of instruct

: to provide (a jury) with explanation and directions regarding the law applicable to a case the judge instructed the jury that the plaintiff bears the burden of proof the jury was instructed to ignore the attorney's comments

intransitive verb

: to give instructions to a jury the trial judge refused to instruct on manslaughter— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.

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More from Merriam-Webster on instruct

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with instruct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for instruct

Spanish Central: Translation of instruct

Nglish: Translation of instruct for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instruct for Arabic Speakers

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