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From Latin ?nstr?ctus, perfect passive participle of ?nstru? ("I instruct; I arrange, furnish, or provide").
instruct (third-person singular simple present instructs, present participle instructing, simple past and past participle instructed)
- (transitive) To teach by giving instructions.
- Synonyms: educate, guide
Listen carefully when someone instructs you how to assemble the furniture.
- c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act I, Scene 3,
- Supply me with the habit and instruct me
- How I may formally in person bear me
- Like a true friar.
- 1682, Aphra Behn, The False Count, London: Jacob Tonson, Act III, Scene 2, p. 33,
- What a dishonour's this, to me, to have so Dull a Father, that needs to be instructed in his Duty.
- 1751, Samuel Johnson, The Rambler, No. 156, 14 September, 1751, in Volume 5, London: J. Payne and J. Bouquet, 1752, p. 177,
- [...] the design of tragedy is to instruct by moving the passions,
- 1850, Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Chapter 10,
- [...] I should deem you a man sore sick, it may be, yet not so sick but that an instructed and watchful physician might well hope to cure you.
- 1974, Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, New York: William Morrow, Part 4, Chapter 29, p. 353,
- At the Laundromat I instruct Chris on how to operate the drier, start the washing machines [...]
- (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.
- c. 1591, William Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part 1, Act III, Scene 1,
- What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
- 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 39,
- All the servants were instructed to address her as "Mum," or "Madam" [...]
- 1989, John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, New York: Ballantine, 1997, Chapter 5, p. 195,
- Observing that the Christ Child's nose was running, she deftly wiped it; then she held the handkerchief in place, while instructing him to "blow."
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
Translations to be checked
instruct (plural instructs)
- (obsolete) Instruction.
instruct (not comparable)
- (obsolete) Arranged; furnished; provided.
- c. 1615, George Chapman (translator), Homer's Odysses, London: Nathaniell Butter, Book 4, p. 62,
- For he had neither ship, instruct with oares,
- Nor men to fetch him from those stranger shores.
- (obsolete) Instructed; taught; enlightened.
- 1671, John Milton, Paradise Regained, 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?