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

Under it, government prosecutors were instructed to charge every single person who entered the US without documents with a 1325 violation. Ana Campoy, Quartz, "What if crossing the border illegally wasn’t a crime?," 28 June 2019 There are matcha tea and coffee bars and a full-service cafe, and staff supervisors are instructed not to send out emails on weekends. Claudia Rosenbaum, Billboard, "Jobs of Tomorrow: Spotify's Nick Holmstén on Why the Streaming Giant and Its Algorithm Are Good for Business," 27 June 2019 The victim was instructed to purchase Google Play cards, provide PINs and deposit additional money into the suspect’s account. Rachel Spacek, The Mercury News, "Campbell crime report for the week of July 5," 27 June 2019 Originally, people were instructed to hide and wait for law enforcement to arrive. John Benson, cleveland.com, "North Olmsted City Hall employees receive active-shooter training," 27 June 2019 All North Korean diplomats, wherever they were posted, were instructed to get food aid from their host governments. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, "The Incredible Guts of Thae Yong-ho," 20 June 2019 Those who have a backpack or bag larger than 9x10x12 will be instructed to empty the contents into a clear bag provided by Summerfest in order to be admitted. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2019: Tickets, shuttles, happy hour deals and more you'll want to know before the festival," 19 June 2019 He was then instructed to send a text message to his son. Jared Malsin, WSJ, "U.N. Probe Calls for More Scrutiny of Saudi Crown Prince Over Khashoggi Murder," 19 June 2019 At home, grandparents would spin yarns; at school, if a teacher failed to turn up, students were instructed to regale each other with tales. A.a.k. | Mumbai, The Economist, "Girish Karnad was one of India’s foremost storytellers," 12 June 2019

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

6 Jul 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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