• IPA: /ˈɪnstɹəmənt/, /ˈɪnstɹʊmənt/

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.
  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.
    • c. 1596, William Shakespeare, “The Life and Death of King Iohn”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene ii]:
      Or useful serving man and instrument, / To any sovereign state.
    • The bold are but the instruments of the wise.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Verb

instrument (instruments, present participle instrumenting; past and past participle instrumented)

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

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