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 formsin·struc·tive·ly, adverbin·struc·tive·ness, nounnon·in·struc·tive, adjectivenon·in·struc·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·struc·tive·ness, nouno·ver·in·struc·tive, adjectiveo·ver·in·struc·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·in·struc·tive·ness, nounun·in·struc·tive, adjectiveun·in·struc·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for instructive

Contemporary Examples of instructive

Historical Examples of instructive

  • 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 Formsinstructively, adverbinstructiveness, 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

Word Origin and History for instructive

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper