Definition of instruct in English:


Syllabification: in·struct
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
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    • 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; upskill
  • 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'.

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Pronunciation: skəʊʃ
a small amount; a little