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 pluralhad 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 instructional (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 Kids who are ages 7 to 17 can come on a first Saturday, and San Juan Mountain Guides provides the gear and instructions for free. Mindy Sink, The Know, "5 things you need to know if you ever visit Ouray Ice Park," 15 Nov. 2019 Even so, Jeffrey told Ars, as the complexity of the instructions has risen with the number of qubits, the amount of time the qubits spend idle has climbed from 1% to 5%. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Here’s what the people who claimed Google’s quantum supremacy have to say about it," 24 Oct. 2019 Perkins has worked in the school system since 2003, beginning as a teacher at Madison County School before serving as an assistant principal and a middle school principal before moving to the central office as supervisor of instruction in 2015. Paul Gattis |, al, "Madison County school board hires 1 of its own as superintendent," 22 Oct. 2019 The main language of instruction in education influences academic and career progress. Steven Gordon, Quartz Africa, "South Africans prefer their children to be taught in English," 2 Oct. 2019 The main focus of social studies instruction in Massachusetts has been US or world history, though high schools have never stopped offering courses in government or politics at least as electives., "Webb Chappell for the Boston Globe," 2 Oct. 2019 But that does then place a premium on getting the recruitment right and ensuring the squad is good enough not to require the sort of precise instruction that characterizes the likes of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp. Jonathan Wilson,, "Madrid Derby Catches Real, Atletico in Midst of Sorting Out Their Transitions," 27 Sep. 2019 Each year, millions of Californians send their children to public K-12 classrooms, assuming that, from around Labor Day to early summer, there will be one given: A school day on a district’s calendar will mean a day of instruction in school. Ricardo Cano, The Mercury News, "How megafires, guns and other crises are disrupting California schools," 21 Sep. 2019 The partnership will include 44 weeks of instruction subsidized by the foundation, with two other Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club locations also to be served in 2019-2020. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, "Fender Announces New Music Education Foundation With Avril Lavigne, Brendon Urie, Chris Stapleton & More," 18 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for instruction

Last Updated

24 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Instruction.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for instruction


How to pronounce instruction (audio)

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.

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