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 Switching back and forth between nontraditional instruction, or NTI, and in-person classes has severely hurt Dalton's development, his mother said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Teachers, parents and students offer mixed reactions to Beshear's COVID-19 school order," 20 Nov. 2020 Emery will donate 75-percent of the price realized for her 24x30-inch Sunset on the Beach – Costa Rica painting, valued at $1,000, to support the unique musical instruction and performance experiences the nonprofit provides., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 19 Nov. 2020 Students will log in for remote instruction via the district’s Webdesk system. Teri Webster, Dallas News, "Plano ISD closes elementary school campus amid rising COVID-19 numbers," 16 Nov. 2020 Jeremiah, now a fifth grader, is enrolled in Chilton County schools, where parents have a choice between in-person instruction or an at-home version the district calls blended learning. USA Today, "'That's what we do': These kids, teachers are making school work during COVID. Here's how.," 15 Nov. 2020 Initially, Texas' state education department said districts could not discontinue remote instruction only for struggling students. Erin Richards, USA TODAY, "Schools want to end online classes for struggling kids. COVID cases may send everyone home," 14 Nov. 2020 Most private schools have already added all-remote instruction around the Thanksgiving and winter breaks. Amanda L Gordon,, "NYC’s Private Schools Brace for Lockdown with Covid Rate Spike," 14 Nov. 2020 Indicator 1 criteria rated how well collaborative teams regularly interacted to address common issues regarding curriculum, assessment, instruction and the achievement of all students. Eplunus Colvin, Arkansas Online, "Exit plan falls short for Dollarway district," 14 Nov. 2020 About a quarter of city students are splitting time between remote and in-person instruction under the city’s hybrid system. Eliza Shapiro, New York Times, "N.Y.C. Schools May Close Again, a Grim Sign of a Global Dilemma," 12 Nov. 2020

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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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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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