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[in-struhk-shuh n] /ɪnˈstrʌk ʃən/
the act or practice of instructing or teaching; education.
knowledge or information imparted.
an item of such knowledge or information.
Usually, instructions. orders or directions:
The instructions are on the back of the box.
the act of furnishing with authoritative directions.
Computers. a command given to a computer to carry out a particular operation.
Origin of instruction
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English instruccio(u)n < Latin instructiōn- (stem of instructiō). See instruct, -ion
Related forms
instructional, adjective
misinstruction, noun
noninstructional, adjective
noninstructionally, adverb
overinstruction, noun
preinstruction, noun
reinstruction, noun
self-instruction, noun
1. tutoring, coaching; training, drill, exercise; indoctrination; schooling. 5. command, mandate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for instructional
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This German leaven forms an instructional class for the remainder of the troops in these formations, who are Turkish.

    Deutschland ber Allah E. F. Benson
  • The answer house had been set up as an instructional device.

    The Guardians Irving Cox
  • It may be that the balloon is in use for instructional purposes.

    Billy Barcroft, R.N.A.S. Percy F. Westerman
  • We had the assistance of three or four of the instructional officers.

  • He was in the Civil Branch for a few years, then was assigned to instructional duty.

    The Best Made Plans Everett B. Cole
British Dictionary definitions for instructional


a direction; order
the process or act of imparting knowledge; teaching; education
(computing) a part of a program consisting of a coded command to the computer to perform a specified function
Derived Forms
instructional, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for instructional

1801, from instruction + -al (1).



c.1400, instruccioun, "action or process of teaching," from Old French instruccion (14c.), from Latin instructionem (nominative instructio) "building, arrangement, teaching," from past participle stem of instruere "arrange, inform, teach," from in- "on" (see in- (2)) + struere "to pile, build" (see structure (n.)). Meaning "an authoritative direction telling someone what to do; a document giving such directions," is early 15c. Related: Instructions.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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instructional in Science
A sequence of bits that tells a computer's central processing unit to perform a particular operation. An instruction can also contain data to be used in the operation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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