in·​struc·​tive | \in-ˈstrək-tiv \

Definition of instructive 

: carrying a lesson : enlightening

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Other Words from instructive

instructively adverb
instructiveness noun

Examples of instructive in a Sentence

an interesting and instructive lesson an instructive demonstration of the proper way to pack a suitcase so your clothes don't arrive in a mess

Recent Examples on the Web

Roth’s pessimism about the prospect of national redemption should be instructive to critics of President Donald Trump’s policy of caging migrant children in isolation from their parents. The Economist, "A blot against America," 23 June 2018 While Krzanich is far from the first chief to lose his job over an office romance, his departure is instructive about the ways in which corporate America is attempting to digest the #MeToo movement. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "Melania Trump Jacket, Brian Krzanich Intel, Instagram Grandmas: Broadsheet June 22," 22 June 2018 This, evidently, brought Trump around to Gardner’s view, a battle that op-ed article writer Matt Welch says may be instructive to other Republicans. Paul Thornton,, "Why three Californias isn't better than one," 16 June 2018 To see how these gems still move people, get people to react is very instructive. Jonathan Takiff,, "Hopped up on fruit snacks, tiny fans rock out to Grateful Dead, Beatles at concerts for kids," 13 June 2018 The monthlong road diet along a half-mile of Curry Ford, a stretch bisected by signals at the Primrose Drive intersection, is little more than half over but already has been instructive to City Hall. Kevin Spear,, "Curry Ford temporary "road diet" provokes praise — and middle finger," 20 Apr. 2018 What’s instructive to the Knicks is that losing (and the resulting draft leverage) provides multiple possibilities but no guarantees. Harvey Araton, New York Times, "Lose Now, Win Later? In Sixers, Knicks Have a Role Model," 14 Mar. 2018 My Grandpa’s final lesson offers an instructive insight into that experience of aliveness to which Campbell refers. Adam Rockefeller Growald, Town & Country, "8 Lessons I Learned From My Grandfather, David Rockefeller," 14 Apr. 2017 Seeing them on the same court should be instructive, one way or another, and their respective levels of athleticism should produce some highlights. Jeremy Woo,, "Lottery Picks, Key Returners and Summer League Storylines to Watch," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instructive.' 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 instructive

1611, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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The first known use of instructive was in 1611

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More Definitions for instructive



English Language Learners Definition of instructive

: providing knowledge or information : helping to instruct someone


in·​struc·​tive | \in-ˈstrək-tiv \

Kids Definition of instructive

: helping to give knowledge or information an instructive book

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Comments on instructive

What made you want to look up instructive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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