in·struc·tion | \ in-ˈstrək-shən \

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, -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

Six of the candidates running for state superintendent of public instruction believe Arizona's public charter schools need more financial oversight. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "Arizona superintendent candidates: Charters need more financial oversight," 12 July 2018 To get a Wear and Carry Permit for handguns in Maryland, the state requires 16 hours of handgun instruction. Talia Richman,, "A 'special police officer' shot a Baltimore man. What is that?," 11 July 2018 In 2014, Tony Bennett, then Indiana's elected superintendent of public instruction, stood accused of several potential violations of wire fraud during a 2012 re-election campaign. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Top Indiana Republicans call on Attorney General Curtis Hill to resign amid groping allegations," 5 July 2018 As head of EdVestors, Perille has worked closely with the school system to expand the arts in nearly all of its schools and to increase the rigor of math instruction. James Vaznis,, "Nonprofit chief is poised to be interim BPS superintendent," 28 June 2018 The County Office of Education reported the findings to the offices of the district attorney, the state controller and the state superintendent of public instruction, as required by state law. David Hernandez,, "San Ysidro School District freezes life insurance accounts of ex-administrators," 27 June 2018 The same gestures and vantage points and compositions are repeated, and the images come out so uncannily similar that it’s as though everyone were subject to the same set of instructions. New York Times, "Take a Photo Here," 27 June 2018 Our first and overwhelming objective is to continue to provide your student with the highest level of instruction for which Chattahoochee is known! Ben Brasch, ajc, "‘I’m kind of flirtatious:’ Fulton teacher resigns after investigation," 19 June 2018 Almost 2,000 years after Paul’s letter, the 13th chapter of Paul’s instruction to the Romans is still being used to silence, warn and squash minority populations. Michael Harriot, The Root, "A Brief History of People Using Romans 13 to Justify White Supremacy," 15 June 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

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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 \

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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