in·​struc·​tive in-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce instructive (audio)
: carrying a lesson : enlightening
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 That made the crowd-pleasing set by Electric Light Orchestra, which followed, all the more instructive. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2023 In both cases, the contrast with Mr. Reagan — and with the economic environment of the early 1980s — is instructive. Jim Tankersley, New York Times, 7 Nov. 2023 The process may be instructive when considering what jury selection will look like in the election interference cases unfolding in Fulton County. George Chidi, Rolling Stone, 1 Nov. 2023 The Islamic State analogy is instructive for other reasons, too: Over the span of half a decade, the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition dropped roughly 2,000 to 5,000 munitions on Iraq and Syria each month. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2023 And the seniors profiled in the story were full of good cheer: this was instructive. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Coming back to the utility of economic projections: To be fair, long-range projections can be reasonably instructive, viewed with the proper horizon. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2023 Not every density hearing devolves into projections about the next Pizzagate, but the spectacle is still pretty instructive. Molly Osberg, Curbed, 4 Aug. 2023 That my family handed down these particular anecdotes—selected from the slush pile of history— is instructive. TIME, 5 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'instructive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of instructive was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near instructive

Cite this Entry

“Instructive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​struc·​tive in-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce instructive (audio)
: giving knowledge : helping to instruct or inform
an instructive experience
instructively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on instructive

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