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 The farms instruct their workers on how to use masks and gloves and on proper sanitation procedures in the fields and in housing. Lee A. Dean, The Christian Science Monitor, "For migrant farmworkers, coronavirus adds new burdens," 26 June 2020 Barr said the same in response to a question about whether the president can instruct him to release a report a certain way. Daniel Chaitin, Washington Examiner, "Barr: Trump powerless to dictate Durham investigation," 25 June 2020 Follow-up emails will be sent next week to instruct fans on how to submit their images. John Shea, SFChronicle.com, "Giants plan to display cutout images of their fans at Oracle Park," 25 June 2020 Alden gestures at Molina, as if trying to instruct him. oregonlive, "Washington County awards $625K settlement to Albert Molina, man assaulted by deputy," 24 June 2020 The solution is to instruct our sailors to fill their ears with beeswax and then tie us to the mast — to prevent anyone from jumping overboard — through the dangerous parts. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: On this scary stock market ride, our only control is over ourselves," 19 June 2020 Plato specifies that foreign teachers would be assigned to instruct the children to ride and shoot arrows in wide-open spaces created for the purpose. National Geographic, "The fierce Amazons were more than just a myth—they were real," 18 June 2020 In this type of deal, a company can instruct its banker to sell stock on a rolling basis at prevailing market... Charley Grant, WSJ, "Beware as Wall Street Goes Direct to Consumer," 17 June 2020 Samsung also dispatched about 10 experts to each of four test-kit makers to instruct their engineers on how to ramp up volumes while resolving bottlenecks through automation. Sohee Kim, Bloomberg.com, "Samsung Billionaire’s Fate at Risk Despite Role in Virus Fight," 14 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for instruct

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for instruct

Last Updated

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instruct.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instruct. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for instruct

instruct

verb
How to pronounce instruct (audio)

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.
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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