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

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 In this context Dr Masa’s path is perhaps instructive. The Economist, "An ambitious African-science project is getting into its stride," 5 Apr. 2018 And while tax experts tell us that no one has undertaken a state-by-state comparison of exclusively commercial property taxes, WalletHub’s figures for residential properties are at least instructive. Matier & Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trump complains about California taxes, but in SF, he’s got a sweet deal," 18 Mar. 2018 But while Zolak may sound like an over-the-top homer to a Patriots hater, his commentary is mostly fair and often instructive. David Waldstein, New York Times, "The Belichick Whisperer," 30 Jan. 2018 This is perhaps instructive as voters in other parts of the country contemplate whether there is anything new in the latest effort to rebrand a party that has for years been at war with the private economy. James Freeman, WSJ, "Down-Home Democrats," 24 July 2017 The 2014 cyberattack against Sony, which resulted in thousands of pages of personal and corporate e-mails being spilled across the Internet, was perhaps even more instructive. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "White House Staffers Are Using a Secret Chat App to Speak Freely," 27 Feb. 2017 But the entire episode is instructive of the convoluted nature of American health care policy. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "3 Key Lessons From Trump's Drug Price Feud With Pfizer," 11 July 2018 Thinking back that many years is an instructive exercise in how quickly seemingly unassailable franchises can stumble while upstarts ascend. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Winning the Fox Bidding War Is Just the Beginning," 10 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

2 Sep 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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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