dangerous instrument

noun

Legal Definition of dangerous instrument

: an object capable of causing bodily injury either because of an inherent quality or because of the manner in which it is used

called also dangerous instrumentality

Note: An object is more likely to be deemed a dangerous instrument on the basis of how it is used in criminal cases than in tort cases. For example, a sidewalk has been held to be a dangerous instrument in a criminal case in which the defendant struck the victim's head against it. In tort cases, especially where strict liability is to be imposed, the object usually has to have some inherently dangerous quality.

Learn More about dangerous instrument

Cite this Entry

“Dangerous instrument.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/dangerous%20instrument. Accessed 13 Aug. 2020.

Comments on dangerous instrument

What made you want to look up dangerous instrument? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!