Definition of “instruction” - English Dictionary

“instruction” in British English

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instructionnoun

uk /ɪnˈstrʌk.ʃən/ us /ɪnˈstrʌk.ʃən/

instruction noun (ORDER)

C2 [ C usually plural ] something that someone tells you to do:

The police who broke into the house were only acting on/under instructions.
[ + to infinitive ] He gave me strict instructions to get there by eight o'clock.

More examples

instruction noun (TEACHING)

instructions [ plural ]

A2 advice and information about how to do or use something, often written in a book or on the side of a container:

The cooking instructions say to bake it for half an hour.
You obviously didn't read the instructions properly.
They need clear instructions on what to do next.

C2 [ U ] the teaching of a particular skill or subject:

The video provides instruction on how to operate the computer.
The course gives you basic instruction in car maintenance.
Have you seen the instruction manual for the washing machine?

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

“instruction” in American English

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instructionnoun

us /ɪnˈstrʌk·ʃən/

instruction noun (TEACHING)

[ U ] the act of teaching someone how to do something:

The course gives you basic instruction in car maintenance and repairs.

instruction noun (ORDER)

[ C usually pl ] an order to do something, esp. a formal order:

[ + to infinitive ] The general received instructions to return to the base.

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

“instruction” in Business English

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instructionnoun

uk /ɪnˈstrʌkʃən/ us
instructions

[ plural ] written advice and information about how to do or use something:

Please read the instructions carefully.
Follow the instructions given below to activate your card.
clear/detailed/step-by-step instructions The furniture comes with detailed instructions about how to assemble it.
assembly/installation instructions The first step is following the installation instructions as well as the on-screen requests from the program.

[ C, usually plural ] something that someone tells you to do:

It was a confusing instruction, and I wasn't sure what he wanted me to do.
give sb instructions on sth My boss gave me instructions on what to say to the press.
give sb instructions to do sth She gave me instructions not to contact the customer directly.
to issue/receive instructions
clear/firm/strict instructions
act on/carry out/follow (sb's) instructions The shares allow him to force the board to carry out his instructions.
disregard/ignore (sb's) instructions I ignored the instructions I had been given and went ahead with the deal anyway.

[ C ] IT a piece of information that tells a computer how to do something:

Simple computer processors execute instructions one after the other.

[ U ] the act of teaching something:

instruction in/on sth You will receive instruction on how to operate the system.
an instruction manual/book

a book that gives advice and information about how to do or use something:

Be sure to read your instruction manual and follow the recommendations for safe operation.
be under instructions

if someone is under instructions to do something, they have been told to do it:

She was under instructions to report back to head office every day.
on the instruction(s) of sb

if you do something on the instruction(s) of someone, you do it because they have told you to:

On the instructions of her solicitor, she refused to give a statement.
under instruction

being taught something:

The trainee learns by carrying out real work tasks under instruction from a more experienced colleague.

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