in·​struc·​tive | \ in-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce instructive (audio) \

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

In a season where menswear has infiltrated womens' wardrobes more than ever before, her look is instructive: Dessauvages embodies that Gallic capacity to be both impossibly chic and determinedly unfussed. Vogue, "Meet the Parisian Design Duo Offering Refined Tailoring at Just the Right Price Point," 23 May 2019 And therefore the most interesting and instructive. Elizabeth Drew, The New Republic, "The John McCain I Know," 1 June 2018 There were three defensive plays at the end of Game 5 that were particularly instructive. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Rockets Are Beating the Warriors With Defense. Really.," 25 May 2018 The majority of the pieces were delivered as lectures at churches, seminaries and universities; thus, most have the distinctly instructive and at times admonitory tone of that kind of educational talk to an audience. Kathleen Rooney,, "'What Are We Doing Here?' Marilynne Robinson considers our political moment through the lens of faith," 16 Feb. 2018 Halston the film is revelatory, laudatory (to a point), and instructive. Vogue, "Watch an Exclusive Clip of Halston Before Its Sundance Premiere—And Read What the Director and Producer Say About Its Making," 23 Jan. 2019 The ladies behind the all-women Maui Surfer Girls have created an encouraging and instructive environment that’s perfect for first-timers. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Maui Needs To Be Your Next Girls Trip," 19 Nov. 2018 Averages are generally more instructive than anecdotes. The Economist, "How open is America?," 14 June 2018 Understanding how scientists address data privacy can be instructive for technology companies navigating similar challenges., "What Facebook can learn from academia about protecting privacy," 15 June 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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Statistics for instructive

Last Updated

27 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instructive

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 How to pronounce instructive (audio) \

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).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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