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 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

This is the first year that the UIL has allowed coaches to work with their athletes over the summer break during strength and conditioning programs and sport-specific skill instruction. Alvaro Montano, Houston Chronicle, "Klein Collins girls basketball athletes, coaches benefit from new UIL summer rules," 3 July 2019 Summation: The districts want earlier start dates to provide more instruction prior to the standardized testing calendar, so the school grade awarded by the state does not suffer. Theresa Bennett,, "Teacher responds to early school start dates | Letter to the editor," 3 July 2019 The decision rejected defense arguments that Guzmán received an unfair trial because some jurors reportedly disregarded court instructions by regularly reading social media coverage of the proceeding and then lied about the transgressions. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "Trial judge rejects El Chapo's bid for new trial over claims of potential juror misconduct," 3 July 2019 Officers provided instructions for the people in the home, which is in the 14100 block of Bush Street, and the woman and three children eventually came out, police said., "Man surrenders after standoff with police in SE Portland," 1 July 2019 This is also bigger than the dog and written vs. verbal instructions. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "She’s unsure of where relationship is going," 30 June 2019 Mr Nakajima’s vision for Imabetsu is modest: to promote tourism, preserve existing industries rather than try to conjure up new ones, use remote instruction to keep schools going and create a single hub for people to obtain information and services. The Economist, "Rural areas bear the burden of Japan’s ageing, shrinking population," 29 June 2019 Prosecutors say Amato killed his relatives after he was kicked out of the Sultan Circle home for violating his father’s instructions to stop speaking with a Bulgarian web cam model with whom Amato was infatuated. Michael Williams,, "Grant Amato’s friends say he falsely tied his brother to ‘god of death’ while discussing anime in court," 27 June 2019 Ed McCaffrey, who helped provide hands-on instruction to more than 400 youth football players over the last four days at Valor Christian, first witnessed Lindsay play football in the seventh grade. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "“I root for him nonstop”: Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay has fan in Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey," 27 June 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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Statistics for instruction

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instruction

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

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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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characterized by aphorism

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