[in-struhk-shuh n] /ɪnˈstrʌk ʃən/

the act or practice of 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.
plural noun
directions, orders, or recommended rules for guidance, use, etc
(law) the facts and details relating to a case given by a client to his solicitor or by a solicitor to a barrister with directions to conduct the case: to take instructions
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

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.
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.


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    The compiler phase that orders instructions on a pipelined, superscalar, or VLIW architecture so as to maximise the number of function units operating in parallel and to minimise the time they spend waiting for each other. Examples are filling a delay slot; interspersing floating-point instructions with integer instructions to keep both units operating; making adjacent […]

  • Instruction set

    architecture The collection of machine language instructions that a particular processor understands. The term is almost synonymous with “instruction set architecture” since the instructions are fairly meaningless in isolation from the registers etc. that they manipulate. (1999-07-05)

  • Instruction set architecture

    architecture (ISA) The parts of a processor’s design that need to be understood in order to write assembly language, such as the machine language instructions and registers. Parts of the architecture that are left to the implementation, such as number of superscalar functional units, cache size and cycle speed, are not part of the ISA. […]

  • Instruction set processor

    language (ISP) A family of languages for describing the instruction sets of computers. [“Computer Structures: Readings and Examples“, D.P. Siewiorek et al, McGraw-Hill 1982]. (1995-10-12)

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