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[in-struhk-tiv] /ɪnˈstrʌk tɪv/
serving to instruct or inform; conveying instruction, knowledge, or information; enlightening.
Grammar. noting a case, as in Finnish, whose distinctive function is to indicate means by which.
Origin of instructive
First recorded in 1605-15; instruct + -ive
Related forms
instructively, adverb
instructiveness, noun
noninstructive, adjective
noninstructively, adverb
noninstructiveness, noun
overinstructive, adjective
overinstructively, adverb
overinstructiveness, noun
uninstructive, adjective
uninstructively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for instructive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He is not a great preacher, but he is quietly earnest and instructive.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • All this time it was instructive to watch the behaviour of the little dog.

    The Roof of France Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • And now I have told you almost all that is amusing or instructive in the childhood of Christina.

    Biographical Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • “So this instructive crime was planned abroad,” Mr Vladimir said quickly.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • It would be easy as well as instructive to accumulate examples.

    The Truth About Woman C. Gasquoine Hartley
British Dictionary definitions for instructive


serving to instruct or enlighten; conveying information
Derived Forms
instructively, adverb
instructiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for instructive

1610s, from instruct + -ive. Related: Instructively; instructiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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