• Instrument

    Pronunciation

    • IPA: /ˈɪnstɹʊmənt/

    Origin

    From Old French instrument, from Latin īnstrūmentum ("an implement, tool"). suffix -mentum.

    Full definition of instrument

    Noun

    instrument

    (plural instruments)
    1. A device used to produce music.The violinist was a master of her instrument.
    2. A means or agency for achieving an effect.
      • 1905, w, w:The Case of Miss Elliott Chapter 1, “There the cause of death was soon ascertained ; the victim of this daring outrage had been stabbed to death from ear to ear with a long, sharp instrument, in shape like an antique stiletto, which was subsequently found under the cushions of the hansom. 
    3. A measuring or displaying device.The instrument detected an increase in radioactivity.
    4. A tool, implement used for manipulation or measurement.The dentist set down his tray of instruments. The scientist recorded the temperature with a thermometer but wished he had a more accurate instrument."
    5. (legal) A legal document, such as a contract, deed, trust, mortgage, power, indenture, or will.A bond indenture is the instrument that gives a bond its value.Negotiable instruments are the foundation of the debt markets.
    6. (figuratively) A person used as a mere tool for achieving a goal.
      • ShakespeareOr useful serving man and instrument,
        To any sovereign state.
      • DrydenThe bold are but the instruments of the wise.

    Synonyms

    Verb

    1. (transitive) To apply measuring devices.
    2. (transitive) To devise, conceive, cook up, plan.
    3. To perform upon an instrument; to prepare for an instrument.a sonata instrumented for orchestra

    Synonyms

    • (to apply measuring devices) measure, supervise
    • (to devise, conceive)
    • (to perform on an instrument) play
    • (to prepare for an instrument) arrange

    Anagrams

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