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Webster 1913 Edition


Instrument

In′stru-ment

,
Noun.
[F.
instrument
, L.
instrumentum
. See
Instruct
.]
1.
That by means of which any work is performed, or result is effected; a tool; a utensil; an implement; a device;
as, the
instruments
of a mechanic; astronomical
instruments
.
All the lofty
instruments
of war.
Shakespeare
2.
A contrivance or implement, by which musical sounds are produced;
as, a musical
instrument
.
Praise him with stringed
instruments
and organs.
Ps. cl. 4.
But signs when songs and
instruments
he hears.
Dryden.
3.
(Law)
A writing, as the means of giving formal expression to some act; a writing expressive of some act, contract, process, as a deed, contract, writ, etc.
Burrill.
Or useful serving man and
instrument
,
To any sovereign state.
Shakespeare
Syn. – Tool; implement; utensil; machine; apparatus; channel; agent.

In′stru-ment

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To perform upon an instrument; to prepare for an instrument;
as, a sonata
instrumented
for orchestra
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Instrument

IN'STRUMENT

,
Noun.
[L. instrumentum, from instruo, to prepare; that which is prepared.]
1.
A tool; that by which work is performed or any thing is effected; as a knife, a hammer, a saw, a plow, &c. Swords, muskets and cannon are instruments of destruction. A telescope is an astronomical instrument.
2.
That which is subservient to the execution of a plan or purpose, or to the production of any effect; means used or contributing to an effect; applicable to persons or things. Bad men are often instruments of ruin to others. The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion.
3.
An artificial machine or body constructed for yielding harmonious sounds; as an organ, a harpsichord, a violin, or flute, &c., which are called musical instruments, or instruments of music.
4.
In law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, as a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, &c.; in general, a writing by which some fact is recorded for evidence, or some right conveyed.
5.
A person who acts for another, or is employed by another for a special purpose, and if the purpose is dishonorable, the term implies degradation or meanness.

Definition 2022


Instrument

Instrument

See also: instrument

German

Noun

Instrument n (genitive Instruments or Instrumentes, plural Instrumente)

  1. (music or general) instrument

Synonyms

Derived terms

Declension

instrument

instrument

See also: Instrument

English

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, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 1, in The Tremarn Case:
      “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. (law) 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.
    • Shakespeare
      Or useful serving man and instrument, / To any sovereign state.
    • Dryden
      The bold are but the instruments of the wise.

Synonyms

  • See also Wikisaurus:instrument

Derived terms

Translations

Verb

instrument (third-person singular simple present instruments, present participle instrumenting, simple 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

Synonyms

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

See also

Anagrams


Catalan

Noun

instrument m (plural instruments)

  1. instrument

Dutch

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -ɛnt

Noun

instrument n (plural instrumenten, diminutive instrumentje n)

  1. instrument

Derived terms


French

Pronunciation

Noun

instrument m (plural instruments)

  1. instrument

Middle French

Noun

instrument m (plural instrumens)

  1. (musical) instrument
  2. instrument (device, often mechanical)

Norwegian Bokmål

Noun

instrument n (definite singular instrumentet, indefinite plural instrument or instrumenter, definite plural instrumenta or instrumentene)

  1. an instrument

Derived terms


Norwegian Nynorsk

Noun

instrument n (definite singular instrumentet, indefinite plural instrument, definite plural instrumenta)

  1. an instrument

Derived terms


Romanian

Noun

instrument n (plural instrumente)

  1. instrument

Swedish

Pronunciation

Noun

instrument n

  1. an instrument (of music, for measurement, method, tool, or financial contract), a device

Declension

Related terms