[ in-struhkt ]
See synonyms for: instructinstructedinstructible on

verb (used with object)
  1. to furnish with knowledge, especially by a systematic method; teach; train; educate.

  2. to furnish with orders or directions; direct; order; command: The doctor instructed me to diet.

  1. to furnish with information; inform; apprise.

  2. Law. (of a judge) to guide (a jury) by outlining the legal principles involved in the case under consideration.

Origin of instruct

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin instructus, past participle of instruere “to equip, train, set in order,” equivalent to in- “in” + struc- (variant stem of struere “to put together”) + -tus past participle suffix; see in-2

synonym study For instruct

1. See teach.

Other words for instruct

Other words from instruct

  • in·struct·ed·ly, adverb
  • in·struct·ed·ness, noun
  • in·struct·i·ble, adjective
  • mis·in·struct, verb (used with object)
  • o·ver·in·struct, verb (used with object)
  • pre·in·struct, verb (used with object)
  • qua·si-in·struct·ed, adjective
  • re·in·struct, verb (used with object)
  • self-in·struct·ed, adjective
  • self-in·struct·ing, adjective
  • un·in·struct·i·ble, adjective
  • un·in·struct·ing, adjective
  • well-in·struct·ed, adjective

Words Nearby instruct Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use instruct in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for instruct


/ (ɪnˈstrʌkt) /

  1. to direct to do something; order

  2. to teach (someone) how to do (something)

  1. to furnish with information; apprise

  2. law, mainly British

    • (esp of a client to his solicitor or a solicitor to a barrister) to give relevant facts or information to

    • to authorize (a barrister or solicitor) to conduct a case on a person's behalf: to instruct counsel

Origin of instruct

C15: from Latin instruere to construct, set in order, equip, teach, from struere to build

Derived forms of instruct

  • instructible, adjective

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