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?
Origin and Etymology of instrument
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin instrumentum, from instruere to arrange, instruct
First Known Use: 14th century
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
What made you want to look up instrument? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).