Dictionary

1instrument

noun in·stru·ment \ˈin(t)-strə-mənt\

: a tool or device used for a particular purpose; especially : a tool or device designed to do careful and exact work

: a device that measures something (such as temperature or distance)

: a device that is used to make music

Full Definition of INSTRUMENT

1
:  a device used to produce music; also :  a singing voice
2
a :  a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered
b :  one used by another as a means or aid :  dupe, tool
3
:  implement; especially :  one designed for precision work
4
:  a formal legal document (as a deed, bond, or agreement)
5
a :  a measuring device for determining the present value of a quantity under observation
b :  an electrical or mechanical device used in navigating an airplane; especially :  such a device used as the sole means of navigating
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Examples of INSTRUMENT

  1. an instrument designed to measure the Earth's atmosphere
  2. The piano was his favorite musical instrument.
  3. Do you play any instruments?

Origin of INSTRUMENT

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin instrumentum, from instruere to arrange, instruct
First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of INSTRUMENT

implement, tool, instrument, appliance, utensil mean a relatively simple device for performing work. implement may apply to anything necessary to perform a task <crude stone implements> <farm implements>. tool suggests an implement adapted to facilitate a definite kind or stage of work and suggests the need of skill more strongly than implement <a carpenter's tools>. instrument suggests a device capable of delicate or precise work <the dentist's instruments>. appliance refers to a tool or instrument utilizing a power source and suggests portability or temporary attachment <household appliances>. utensil applies to a device used in domestic work or some routine unskilled activity <kitchen utensils>.

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue

2instrument

verb in·stru·ment \-ˌment\

Definition of INSTRUMENT

transitive verb
1
:  to address a legal instrument to
2
:  to score for musical performance :  orchestrate
3
:  to equip with instruments especially for measuring and recording data

First Known Use of INSTRUMENT

1752

Other Music Terms

cacophony, chorister, concerto, counterpoint, madrigal, obbligato, presto, presto, refrain, riff, segue
INSTRUMENT Defined for Kids

instrument

noun in·stru·ment \ˈin-strə-mənt\

Definition of INSTRUMENT for Kids

1
:  a tool or device for doing a particular kind of work <a dentist's instruments>
2
:  a device used to produce music
3
:  a way of getting something done <Curiosity is an instrument of discovery.>
4
:  a legal document (as a deed)
5
:  a device that measures something (as altitude or temperature)

Synonym Discussion of INSTRUMENT

instrument, tool, and utensil mean a device for doing work. instrument is used for a device that can be used to do complicated work. <The surgeon's instruments were sterilized.> tool is used for a device used for a particular job and often suggests that a special skill is needed to use it. <A carpenter's tools include hammers and saws.> utensil is used for a simple device used in jobs around the house. <They bought kitchen utensils.>
Medical Dictionary

instrument

noun in·stru·ment \ˈin(t)-strə-mənt\

Medical Definition of INSTRUMENT

:  any implement, tool, or utensil (as for surgery)
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