English

Definition of instruct verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    instruct

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌkt//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they instruct
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌkt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌkt//
     
    he / she / it instructs
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌkts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌkts//
     
    past simple instructed
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪd//
     
    past participle instructed
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪd//
     
    -ing form instructing
    BrE BrE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪnˈstrʌktɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1(formal) to tell somebody 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. (British English also) He instructed that a wall should be built around the city. instruct (somebody) + speech ‘Put it there,’ she instructed (them). Synonymsordertell instruct direct commandThese words all mean to use your position of authority to say to somebody that they must do something.order to use your position of authority to tell somebody to do something:The company was ordered to pay compensation to its former employee. ‘Come here at once!’ she ordered.tell to say to somebody that they must or should do something:He was told to sit down and wait. Don’t tell me what to do!instruct (rather formal) to tell somebody 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 judge directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty.command to use your position of authority to tell somebody 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 somebody 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 somebody something, especially a practical skill All our staff have been instructed in sign language.
  3. 3[usually passive] instruct somebody that… (formal) to give somebody 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 somebody to represent you in a legal situation, especially as a lawyer
  5. Word Origin late Middle English (in sense (2)): from Latin instruct- ‘constructed, equipped, taught’, from the verb instruere, from in- ‘upon, towards’ + struere ‘pile up’.Extra examples I took the pills as instructed. You were explicitly instructed to wait here. She arrived at ten o’clock as instructed.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: instruct