Definition of instruction in US English:



  • 1often instructionsA direction or order.

    ‘he issued instructions to the sheriff’
    ‘he was acting on my instructions’
    • ‘The charges are conspiracy to violate a safety zone and failure to adhere to the Commander's instructions.’
    • ‘Finally the agent gives the woman the same instructions, ordering her to kill her husband.’
    • ‘Jones had given explicit instructions to his charges to behave earlier this week.’
    • ‘Some will, however, accept direct debit instructions to pay off all or the minimum each month.’
    • ‘Whether such an instruction qualifies the order to the bank or is directed to the payee is a question of fact.’
    • ‘Stripped to his track suit bottoms in the exhausting heat, he shouts instructions to his young charges.’
    • ‘What's worse, it is a policy instruction which comes directly from Ministers.’
    • ‘We have issued strict instructions to the area engineers to fill potholes as and when they are appear.’
    • ‘Somebody had, however, issued him with instructions to admit this photographer.’
    • ‘After putting on helmets and receiving instructions, we headed underground.’
    • ‘He sings as if issuing instructions to a slow-witted housekeeper.’
    • ‘Communicate with the foreman - issuing instructions all over the place will cause problems.’
    • ‘He issued his instructions but not with the clarity of old.’
    • ‘There is a procedure in place, with a single authority which will issue instructions.’
    • ‘Maia's voice rang in her memory, issuing orders and instructions the morning before.’
    • ‘When God asks Abraham to leave the land of his birth He gives the instructions in a curious order.’
    • ‘Strict instructions should be issued to bus crew, boat masters and the police to enforce the ban.’
    • ‘The instructions issued by the Home Office say the asylum seekers will be expected to do unpaid work for up to 35 hours a week.’
    • ‘Air traffic control wondered why the aircraft turned in the opposite direction each time an instruction was given.’
    • ‘The cast of performers included three Korean boys who received their instructions through an interpreter.’
    order, command, directive, direction, decree, edict, injunction, mandate, dictate, commandment, diktat, demand, bidding, requirement, stipulation, charge, ruling, pronouncement
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    1. 1.1instructionsLaw Directions to a lawyer or to a jury.
      • ‘I will not read out that first paragraph on page 295 which is the judge's instructions to the jury.’
      • ‘This was not a basis for excluding her evidence and the trial judge gave correct instructions to the jury on this point.’
      • ‘She does not say what particular instructions the solicitors received.’
      • ‘Equally, that is the proper time for his solicitors to receive such instructions.’
      • ‘I read that in the papers somewhere that the trial judge actually gave some instructions to the jury about the role of the foreman.’
    2. 1.2Computing A code or sequence in a computer program that defines an operation and puts it into effect.
      • ‘Clock speed will show the number of instructions that a computer can execute in a second.’
      • ‘Properly crafted computer instructions appended to the text will then be executed by the machine, giving hackers a way in.’
      • ‘He found some of that useful redundancy in the instructions that tell the computer to add or subtract.’
      • ‘Virtual memory uses an MMU to convert the virtual addresses that are used by program instructions to physical locations.’
      • ‘A macro is set of keystrokes or instructions which are assigned to a short key.’
  • 2instructionsDetailed information telling how something should be done, operated, or assembled.

    ‘always study the instructions supplied’
    • ‘Detailed postoperative instructions were given, and the patient was sent home.’
    • ‘Detailed instructions on slaughter technique were not made available until late March.’
    • ‘Before vanishing in 1822, he left coded instructions detailing the secret location of a fortune in gold.’
    • ‘USA Today published detailed instructions on how to treat a flag - it must never, ever touch the ground.’
    • ‘If only to save time, the menu at Atomic includes instructions for how to order a burrito.’
    • ‘The exert is Imhotep giving the queen instructions to follow in order to let the wound heal properly.’
    • ‘Separate assembly instructions and illustrations then keep you working in an organized fashion.’
    • ‘A succession of boxes with illustrations are accompanied by detailed instructions on how to work out the sums.’
    • ‘As well as detailed, door-to-door instructions, it provides users with a range of additional services.’
    • ‘Each person was given detailed information and instructions on how to contribute to the study.’
    • ‘I think I might need to study the instructions again in more detail!’
    • ‘I already had the wooden heads from my cosmetology course, and had ordered a kit and instructions for wig making on line.’
    • ‘Hal gave me detailed instructions how to find it in pre-dawn, following paint marks on the woods-road.’
    • ‘She could read simple instructions but more complicated information was still beyond her.’
    • ‘I am not going to give you detailed instructions, just a general idea you can follow and experiment with yourselves.’
    • ‘The tool includes questions to ask relatives and instructions for entering the information.’
    • ‘It soon became apparent that the organisers had omitted one crucial piece of information from their instructions.’
    • ‘There is a growing library of books making it ‘fun’ for kids to invest and giving them detailed instructions on how to do so.’
    • ‘There are detailed instructions and safety tips provided in the Attachments Pack.’
    directions, key, guide, recipe, specification
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  • 3Teaching; education.

    ‘the school offers personalized instruction in a variety of skills’
    • ‘Policies to support student achievement are not restricted to curriculum and instruction.’
    • ‘She can have the children come to her for instruction and teaching rather than having her go to them.’
    • ‘When they reach middle school and high school, they will not have access to instruction in Spanish.’
    • ‘The practical foundation of this policy has been the medium of instruction in primary schools.’
    • ‘Figure 1 is an example of how data are collected on ways teachers provide instruction.’
    • ‘During her instruction, a college class was observing her from a nearby college.’
    • ‘The second model used Irish as the medium of instruction in schools either partially or fully.’
    • ‘That is to say, Taiwanese educators fail to give instruction in accordance with individual needs.’
    • ‘Training and education should include instruction on how to prevent and respond to or manage fires.’
    • ‘In a clear and lucid way, he was able to offer instruction about drawing the human form.’
    • ‘Each participant sat at a table across from the teacher when receiving instruction in the study.’
    • ‘The first day of instruction, the teacher asked students to summarize the problem in the video.’
    • ‘The primary focus of our teacher's reading instruction was phonics and reading fluency.’
    • ‘The teachers were asked to fill in the subject or activity and the medium of instruction for each period.’
    • ‘Educators also spend less time in actual teaching or instruction than is specified in policy.’
    • ‘It is now the language of instruction in secondary education and in some universities.’
    • ‘This is also the manner in which she handles the religious instruction and moral education classes entrusted to her.’
    • ‘Full class instruction during school hours is a perfect way to introduce students to art sites.’
    • ‘The loss of parental preference does not mean that a child has no access to educational instruction either in school or otherwise.’
    • ‘Bosco provided boys with education, religious instruction, and recreation.’
    teaching, tuition, coaching, tutoring, education, schooling, tutelage, pedagogy, andragogy
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Late Middle English: via Old French from late Latin instructio(n-), from the verb instruere (see instruct).