Meaning of “instruct” in the English Dictionary

"instruct" in British English

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instructverb

uk /ɪnˈstrʌkt/ us /ɪnˈstrʌkt/

instruct verb (ORDER)

C1 [ T + to infinitive ] to order or tell someone to do something, especially in a formal way:

The police have been instructed to patrol the building and surrounding area.

[ T ] UK to employ a lawyer to represent you in court

[ T ] When a judge instructs a jury, he or she tells it what the law means and how to use it.

More examples

  • The prime minister's family have been instructed not to discuss his past life with the press.
  • The minister was instructed to accept the advice of senior civil servants.
  • Tourists are instructed not to travel to the region unless absolutely necessary.
  • The government instructed MPs to vote in favour of the bill.
  • He was instructed to report back to headquarters.

(Definition of “instruct” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"instruct" in American English

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instructverb [ T ]

us /ɪnˈstrʌkt/

instruct verb [ T ] (TEACH)

to teach someone how to do something:

I need someone to instruct me on how to use the computer.

instruct verb [ T ] (ORDER)

to order or tell someone to do something, esp. in a formal way:

[ + to infinitive ] The police have been instructed not to let anyone leave the area.

(Definition of “instruct” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"instruct" in Business English

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instructverb [ T ]

uk /ɪnˈstrʌkt/ us

to order or tell someone to do something, especially in a formal way:

instruct sb to do sth They were instructed to remove the vehicles from the site immediately as they were causing an obstruction.

to teach someone about something or how to do something:

instruct sb on/in sth Employees will be instructed on the use of the new invoicing system that is being introduced next month.

UK LAW to employ a lawyer to deal with a legal case, and to tell them what you want them to do:

We'll instruct our lawyer to draw up an agreement.

(Definition of “instruct” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)