Definition of instruct in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈstrəkt/


1 [reporting verb] Direct or command someone to do something, especially as an official order: [with object and infinitive]: she instructed him to wait [with direct speech]: “Look at me,” he instructed [with clause]: I instructed that she be given hot, sweet tea
More example sentences
  • The German soldier, instructed in killing and ordered to destroy him, held the photos.
  • In future local authorities, which are currently powerless, will be able to issue formal notices instructing the reduction of a hedge's height and its long-term maintenance.
  • After months of wrangling, a council last month issued an enforcement order instructing Mr Bennett to remove it or face prosecution.
order, direct, command, tell, enjoin, require, call on, mandate, charge
literary bid
2 [with object] Teach (someone) a subject or skill: he instructed them in the use of firearms [with object and clause]: instructing electors how to record their votes
More example sentences
  • I will instruct you and teach you.
  • The best in language and the worst in language are found in literature, and it's the best that instructs you, that teaches you.
  • With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice?
teach, school, coach, train, enlighten, inform, educate, tutor, guide, prepare, prime;
3 [with object] Law Give a person direction, information, or authorization, in particular.
3.1(Of a judge) give information, especially clarification of legal principles, to (a jury).
3.2Inform (someone) of a fact or situation: [with clause]: the bank was instructed that the money from the savings account was now held by the company
More example sentences
  • These officials should be instructed that they have the right and duty to refuse to obey any order to participate in torture.
  • Indeed, it is she who instructs him of his identity.
  • In an appendix on Polish pronunciation Ruane helpfully instructs us that the name is pronounced ‘pop-yeh-wooshko’ with the stress on the ‘woosh’.


Late Middle English (sense 2): from Latin instruct- 'constructed, equipped, taught', from the verb instruere, from in- 'upon, toward' + struere 'pile up'.

Words that rhyme with instruct

abduct, adduct, conduct, construct, destruct, duct, misconduct, obstruct
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