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 Mathison, currently the assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction at West Northfield School District 31, is set to start in Winnetka July 1. Daniel I. Dorfman, Chicago Tribune, 10 May 2022 Regine Vital, who plays Quince and Egeus, is an actor and educator with a day job as manager of curriculum and instruction at the Huntington Theatre Company. Terry Byrne,, 5 May 2022 The students meet three days a week for one hour either before or after school, with three to four students for each teacher for nine weeks, said Melanie Depray Learst, director of curriculum, instruction and accountability. Koby Levin And Isabel Lohman, Detroit Free Press, 2 May 2022 Scott Lucid of Peabody, aquatics director at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, said his organization also took advantage of a DCR grant to increase staff and allow more instruction time for children. Brion O'connor,, 29 Apr. 2022 The district offered a double session of summer school last year by providing additional pay to teachers using the funding, said Shelly Isai, Dysart's director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for high school., 28 Apr. 2022 Budzar holds a bachelor of science degree in education from Miami University and master’s degrees in curriculum and instruction and educational leadership from Cleveland State University and Concordia University, respectively. John Benson, cleveland, 27 Apr. 2022 More than a year later, many students, including those at San Jose State, had returned to remote instruction after winter break because of the Omicron Covid-19 surge. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 12 Feb. 2022 In South Asia, Sri Lanka has decided against closing schools, while in Nepal, they are shut until at least the end of January, despite the near impossibility of remote instruction in the Himalayan countryside. New York Times, 27 Jan. 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

Learn More About instruction

Time Traveler for instruction

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near instruction



instruction card

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for instruction

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Instruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!