Synonyms of instrument

1 a written or printed paper giving information about or proof of something
  • a valid will is a legal instrument

Synonyms for instrument

Words Related to instrument

2 an article intended for use in work
  • always choose the right instrument for any woodworking job

Synonyms for instrument

Words Related to instrument

3 something used to achieve an end
  • he sees scouting as an instrument for building character in young people

Synonyms for instrument

Words Related to instrument

4 one that is or can be used to further the purposes of another
  • the claim that the scientists are mere instruments of the tobacco companies, who pay them to produce findings that are highly suspect

Synonyms for instrument

Words Related to instrument

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About instrument

How is the word instrument different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of instrument are appliance, implement, tool, and utensil. While all these words mean "a relatively simple device for performing work," instrument suggests a device capable of delicate or precise work.

the dentist's instruments

When can appliance be used instead of instrument?

The words appliance and instrument can be used in similar contexts, but appliance refers to a tool or instrument utilizing a power source and suggests portability or temporary attachment.

household appliances

When could implement be used to replace instrument?

While the synonyms implement and instrument are close in meaning, implement may apply to anything necessary to perform a task.

crude stone implements

farm implements

How are the words tool and implement related as synonyms of instrument?

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

When is utensil a more appropriate choice than instrument?

The synonyms utensil and instrument are sometimes interchangeable, but utensil applies to a device used in domestic work or some routine unskilled activity.

kitchen utensils

Learn More About instrument

Time Traveler for instrument

Time Traveler

The first known use of instrument was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Thesaurus Entries Near instrument




See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Instrument.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on instrument

Nglish: Translation of instrument for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instrument for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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