Definition of instrument
1 : a device used to produce music; also : a singing voice
3 : implement; especially : one designed for precision work
4 : a formal legal document (such as a deed, bond, or agreement)
5a : a measuring device for determining the present value of a quantity under observationb : an electrical or mechanical device used in navigating an airplane; especially : such a device used as the sole means of navigating
Examples of instrument in a Sentence
an instrument designed to measure the Earth's atmosphere
The piano was his favorite musical instrument.
Do you play any instruments?
Recent Examples of instrument from the Web
Lines had been drawn on maps, and detailed lists of personnel and assets, down to the instruments in army bands, had been assigned to each side.
Friends and neighbors fawned over the Premier model’s cabin with stitched elements on the instrument panel.
Those gleaming teeth were not instruments of perfection to reduce the suffering of sauropods and hadrosaurs.
Both buglers took up instruments in childhood, crediting suburban public school music programs and bands with putting them on a path to professional careers.
David Desper, 28, is charged with first- and third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime and reckless endangering, according to Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI.
And then there's Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin and not the sharpest instrument among the legislative cutlery.
The most downhome instrument in Gallaher’s arsenal.
Local cigar box luthiers John Nickel and Joe McCormick combined to fashion this six-string instrument for Gallaher.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instrument.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of instrument
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin instrumentum, from instruere to arrange, instruct
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of instrument
First Known Use of instrument
INSTRUMENT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of instrument for English Language Learners
: 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
INSTRUMENT Defined for Kids
Definition of instrument for Students
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)
Medical Definition of instrument
: any implement, tool, or utensil (as for surgery)
Legal Definition of instrument
1 : a means or implement by which something is achieved, performed, or furthered an instrument of crime
2 : a document (as a deed, will, bond, note, certificate of deposit, insurance policy, warrant, or writ) evidencing rights or duties especially of one party to another under the law a person is not liable on an instrument unless the person signed the instrument — Uniform Commercial Code an indictment is a form of charging instrument; specifically : negotiable instrument
Seen and Heard
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