in·​struc·​tion | \ in-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce instruction (audio) \

Definition of instruction

1a instructions plural : an outline or manual of technical procedure : directions
b : a direction calling for compliance : order usually used in plural had instructions not to admit strangers
c : a code that tells a computer to perform a particular operation
d : precept prevailing cultural instructions
2 : the action, practice, or profession of teaching

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Other Words from instruction

instructional \ in-​ˈstrək-​shnəl How to pronounce instruction (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Examples of instruction in a Sentence

You should read each instruction carefully. Their instruction was to deliver the package by five o'clock. The after-school program offers reading instruction to students who need it. The computer can handle one million instructions per second.
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Recent Examples on the Web Some enterprising individuals are selling instruction manuals that provide a step-by-step guide to committing this type of fraud. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, 13 July 2021 These makeshift responders often had little or no formal medical instruction. Marion Renault, The Atlantic, 12 July 2021 The Soerens family didn’t have poles but Jeanne Palanck of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and staff took care of that by offering both fishing gear and some basic instruction to anyone who needed it. David Sharos,, 11 July 2021 The state required schools to hold summer literacy camps with 70 hours of reading instruction for students in kindergarten through third grade who have shown a deficit in reading. al, 10 July 2021 The event’s dog-walking portion will take place from 6-7 p.m., and yoga instruction, from 7-8 p.m. cleveland, 10 July 2021 In January, the Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education and the state Education Board invited school districts to submit virtual instruction plans for the coming school year. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 10 July 2021 Unlike the Tea Party, however, it is focused on a hyperlocal (yet super-important) issue: K-12 instruction. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 10 July 2021 Libre also provides nonpartisan civic assistance, offering free English classes, as well as Spanish-language instruction on health, obtaining U.S. citizenship and entrepreneurship. Will Weissert, ajc, 9 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instruction.' 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 instruction

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

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Time Traveler for instruction

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

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Last Updated

15 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for instruction



English Language Learners Definition of instruction

: a statement that describes how to do something
: an order or command
: the action or process of teaching : the act of instructing someone


in·​struc·​tion | \ in-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce instruction (audio) \

Kids Definition of instruction

1 instructions plural : a specific rule or command I left instructions that I was not to be disturbed.
2 instructions plural : an outline of how something is to be done Follow the instructions on the box.
3 : the act or practice of teaching Students receive instruction in history.



Legal Definition of instruction

: an explanation of an applicable principle of law given by a judge to a jury before the jury retires to consider its verdict

called also jury charge, jury instruction

Note: Under both the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, at the close of evidence, or before the close if the court reasonably so directs, any party may file written requests for the instructions to be given to the jury by the court. The court must advise the parties of its decision regarding the instructions prior to closing argument so that the parties may address the instructions during argument. Any objections to the instructions must be made before the jury retires for deliberation.

More from Merriam-Webster on instruction

Nglish: Translation of instruction for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instruction for Arabic Speakers


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