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

Despite his denial, the Washington Post reports that Cohen had instructed his lawyer to discuss a pardon with Trump’s people, back when the two were still thick as thieves. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Can a Flagpole File a Harassment Lawsuit?," 10 Mar. 2019 Conversely, self-designing things are focused on solving problems and not aesthetics unless instructed by humans to follow functional improvements with cosmetic work. Pam Baker, Ars Technica, "Artificial Intelligence and the coming of the self-designing machine," 6 Dec. 2018 The rescue squad enters the burning building after discovering a victim is still trapped inside, and Severide is instructed to search the top floor. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "'Chicago Fire' Shows Severide Facing Death in This Terrifying Sneak Peek," 13 Nov. 2018 Most of what can be seen today dates from the 1830s, when the second Marquess (and future first Duke) of Abercorn instructed the father-and-son team of Richard and William Vitruvius Morrison to redesign the house once again. Robert O'byrne, ELLE Decor, "Tour a Legendary Manor in Northern Ireland," 12 Oct. 2018 Trump also instructed the attorney general to ask a federal court in California to modify the existing settlement that set the 20-day limit on holding immigrant children. Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje, Houston Chronicle, "Some immigrant families have long been allowed to stay together," 20 June 2018 Back in the courtyard at noon, Michael Klarreich, a former teacher at the New York School of Performing Arts, was instructing people about the art of telling a joke. J. Harry Jones, Pomerado News, "From Flamenco to mollusks, library workshops had it all," 26 May 2018 The Saudi kingdom expelled Canada’s ambassador to the kingdom and instructed Saudi students in Canada to make arrangements to leave. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Saudi Teen Who Fled Family Begins Settling in Canada," 12 Jan. 2019 Instead, Soledad was instructed to register them in the town’s Mexican remedial school. Mariana Viera, Teen Vogue, "How Méndez vs. Westminster Helped End Segregated Schools for Latinx Children in 1940s California," 12 Oct. 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

16 Mar 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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