- to furnish with knowledge, especially by a systematic method; teach; train; educate.
- to furnish with orders or directions; direct; order; command: The doctor instructed me to diet.
- to furnish with information; inform; apprise.
- Law. (of a judge) to guide (a jury) by outlining the legal principles involved in the case under consideration.
Origin of instruct
1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin instructus past participle of instruere to equip, train, set in order, equivalent to in- in-2 + struc- (variant stem of struere to put together) + -tus past participle suffix
1. See teach.
SynonymsSee more synonyms for instruct on Thesaurus.com
1. tutor, coach; drill, discipline; indoctrinate; school. 2. prescribe. 3. enlighten.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for instructing
Keopuolani converted on her deathbed in 1823, instructing her son Kamehameha II to protect the missionaries.How Haoles Destroyed Hawaii
December 7, 2014
Victor is instructing his topless agent on how they will protest the 2012 Euro Cup, held in Ukraine.Femen’s Abusive Patriarch, Victor Svyatski, Exposed in 'Ukraine Is Not a Brothel’
March 12, 2014
We received individually addressed cards in our mail boxes, instructing us where to receive our equipment.When The Iran Obsession Meets The Free-Market Fetish
September 24, 2012
It has been instructing supporters on parliamentary procedure and state Republican rules.How Ron Paul's Minions Plan to Hijack the GOP Convention
March 3, 2012
But Dyer is one of those rare writers whose gift is communicating, instructing, how to see.Geoff Dyer's 'The Missing of the Somme' Reconsidered
November 11, 2011
The young mistress of the house seemed to be admonishing, instructing, someone.Marriage la mode
Mrs. Humphry Ward
That did not prevent him instructing Pace and Clerk to further his claims.Henry VIII.
A. F. Pollard
In his leisure, my father found means of instructing us other than by the strap.The Promised Land
It was for the purpose of instructing him further in the matter of feeding them.The Mutiny of the Elsinore
I was instructing him to keep his hands from picking and stealing.The Wolves and the Lamb
William Makepeace Thackeray
- to direct to do something; order
- to teach (someone) how to do (something)
- to furnish with information; apprise
- 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 behalfto instruct counsel
C15: from Latin instruere to construct, set in order, equip, teach, from struere to build
Word Origin and History for instructing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper