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From Latin īnstrūctus, perfect passive participle of īnstruō (I instruct; I arrange, furnish, or provide).





instruct (third-person singular simple present instructs, present participle instructing, simple past and past participle instructed)

  1. (transitive) To teach by giving instructions.
    Synonyms: educate, guide
    Listen carefully when someone instructs you how to assemble the furniture.
  2. (transitive) To tell (someone) what they must or should do.
    Synonyms: command, direct, order
    Usage note: "instruct" is less forceful than "order", but weightier than "advise"
    The doctor instructed me to keep my arm immobilised and begin physiotherapy.
  3. (transitive) To give (one's own lawyer) legal instructions as to how they should act in relation to a particular issue; thereby formally appointing them as one's own legal representative in relation to it.
    If you're not careful, I'm going to instruct a solicitor over this.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



instruct (plural instructs)

  1. (obsolete) Instruction.



instruct (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Arranged; furnished; provided.
    • c. 1615, George Chapman, transl., Homer’s Odysses[4], London: Nathaniell Butter, Book 4, p. 62:
      For he had neither ship, instruct with oares,
      Nor men to fetch him from those stranger shores.
  2. (obsolete) Instructed; taught; enlightened.
    • 1671, John Milton, Paradise Regained[5], London: John Starkey, Book 1, lines 438-441, p. 24:
      Who ever by consulting at thy shrine
      Return’d the wiser, or the more instruct
      To flye or follow what concern’d him most,
      And run not sooner to his fatal snare?