American English

Definition of instruct verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    instruct

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌkt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they instruct
     
    he / she / it instructs
     
    past simple instructed
     
    -ing form instructing
     
     
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  1. 1 (formal) to tell someone to do something, especially in a formal or official way synonym direct, order instruct somebody to do something The letter instructed him to report to headquarters immediately. instruct somebody where, what, etc… You will be instructed where to go as soon as the plane is ready. instruct somebody She arrived at 10 o'clock as instructed. instruct that… He instructed that a wall be built around the city. instruct (somebody) + speech “Put it there,” she instructed (them). Thesaurusordertell instruct direct commandThese words all mean to use your position of authority to say to someone that they must do something.order to use your position of authority to tell someone to do something:The company was ordered to clean up the pollution in the river. “Come here at once!” she ordered.tell to say to someone that they must or should do something:He was told to sit down and wait. Don't tell me what to do!instruct (somewhat formal) to tell someone to do something, especially in a formal or official way:The letter instructed him to report to headquarters immediately.direct (formal) to give an official order:The police officer directed me to pull over and stop the car.command to use your position of authority to tell someone to do something:He commanded his men to retreat.order or command?Order is a more general word than command and can be used about anyone in a position of authority, such as a parent, teacher, or government, telling someone to do something. Command is slightly stronger than order and is the normal word to use about an army officer giving orders, or in any context where it is normal to give orders without any discussion about them. It is less likely to be used about a parent or teacher.Patterns to order/tell/instruct/direct/command somebody to do something to order/instruct/direct/command that… to do something >as>ordered/told/instructed/directed/commanded
  2. 2instruct somebody (in something) (formal) to teach someone something, especially a practical skill All our staff have been instructed in sign language.
  3. 3[usually passive] instruct somebody that… (formal) to give someone information about something We have been instructed that a decision will not be made before the end of the week.
  4. 4instruct somebody (to do something) (law) to employ someone to represent you in a legal situation, especially as a lawyer
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: instruct