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 Police instructed her to go to request her accounts be canceled. chicagotribune.com, "$30K illegally transferred from elderly Buffalo Grove woman’s bank account following phone ruse: Police," 16 Sep. 2019 Google says its has instructed its human raters to prioritize news reports that display a high degree of skill, time and effort. Marie C. Baca, Washington Post, "Google and Facebook’s latest efforts to ‘save’ journalism are already getting eye rolls," 13 Sep. 2019 Lewsadder explained that prior to 2014, technology was used at the discretion of teachers mainly to manage students, not instruct them. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada Unified hires diversity and inclusion officer, ponders future of tech," 11 Sep. 2019 The Florida Senate closed an investigation Friday into powerhouse gun lobbyist Marion Hammer, instructing her to amend improperly filed disclosure reports but not issuing any fines or sanctions. Skyler Swisher, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida Senate closes investigation into NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer with no fines or sanctions," 23 Aug. 2019 When that investigation determined no criminal conduct had occurred, the archdiocese left Drew in his post at St. Ignatius and instructed him to undergo counseling. Dan Horn, Cincinnati.com, "Shake-up at archdiocese: Cincinnati's No. 2 bishop failed to share complaints about priest," 5 Aug. 2019 Earlier this weekend, British tabloid The Sun reported that Harry and Meghan's neighbors had been given a list of demands instructing them how to behave in the presence of the royal couple and in the vicinity of their home. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Did Not Ban Their Neighbors From Speaking to Them," 28 July 2019 One former law clerk, Christopher L. Eisgruber, described in a 1993 essay an incident at a party for new clerks: Before Justice Stevens arrived, an older male justice had instructed one of the few female clerks present to serve coffee. Linda Greenhouse, New York Times, "Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, Who Led Liberal Wing, Dies at 99," 16 July 2019 Allegedly, Ailes would frequently comment on Carlson’s body and instruct her to wear certain outfits that complimented her figure. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "What You Need To Know Before Watching The Loudest Voice," 5 July 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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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

26 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Instruct.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instructed. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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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