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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The new hires must have 20 hours of online instruction with tests, then two days of a hands-on workshop and many hours of client work, then 20 hours of practice time before clients are assigned. Linda Gandee, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2022 The center also arranges for Ukrainian solders to be trained on how to use and maintain the weapons, like the HIMARS, which requires at least two weeks of instruction, military officials said. New York Times, 27 July 2022 Each session offers students 30 hours of classroom time, or approximately an extra month of instruction. oregonlive, 17 July 2022 The soon-to-be-former British prime minister generously leaves us with years of instruction in the art of anti-leadership—here are some key takeaways. David Meyer, Fortune, 7 July 2022 Choreographer Yaya Rodriguez kicks off the event, at Lynch Park in Beverly, with an hour of instruction followed by dancing to music curated by DJ Franklin Condori., 7 July 2022 Some private schools still bolster French and English as the language of instruction. Jeremie Eyssette, Quartz, 30 June 2022 The Duffer Brothers’ class comprises 18 video lessons, totaling 5 hours and 18 minutes of instruction. Todd Spangler, Variety, 30 June 2022 All students started at level one, but after about twelve 20-minute sessions of instruction, all had progressed to level three or four. Natalie Wexler, Forbes, 21 June 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of instruction

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

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

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Instruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for instruction


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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