• The boys play their 'instruments' in the band
    The boys play their 'instruments' in the band
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v instrument address a legal document to
    • v instrument write an instrumental score for
    • v instrument equip with instruments for measuring, recording, or controlling
    • n instrument the means whereby some act is accomplished "my greed was the instrument of my destruction","science has given us new tools to fight disease"
    • n instrument a device that requires skill for proper use
    • n instrument any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds
    • n instrument the semantic role of the entity (usually inanimate) that the agent uses to perform an action or start a process
    • n instrument (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right
    • n instrument a person used by another to gain an end
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A few items unearthed at Jamestown which were used by doctors and apothecaries. Included are drug jars, ointment pot, bleeding bowl, mortar and pestle fragments, glass vials, and portions of surgical instruments A few items unearthed at Jamestown which were used by doctors and apothecaries. Included are drug jars, ointment pot,...
Roberts-Mackensen bee insemination instrument, 1944 Roberts-Mackensen bee insemination instrument, 1944
Morse's pendulum instrument Morse's pendulum instrument
Electric cautery instrument Electric cautery instrument
The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse The First Telegraphic Instrument, as Exhibited in 1837 by Morse
Morse Making his own Instrument Morse Making his own Instrument
11. Italian harpsichord (1693): Full view of instrument in outer case 11. Italian harpsichord (1693): Full view of instrument in outer case

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The designated instrument for the city of Detroit is the accordion
    • Instrument A contrivance or implement, by which musical sounds are produced; as, a musical instrument . "Praise him with stringed instruments and organs.""But signs when songs and instruments he hears."
    • Instrument (Law) A writing, as the means of giving formal expression to some act; a writing expressive of some act, contract, process, as a deed, contract, writ, etc.
    • Instrument One who, or that which, is made a means, or is caused to serve a purpose; a medium, means, or agent; as, their army was primarily an instrument of oppression. "Or useful serving man and instrument ,
      To any sovereign state."
      "The bold are but the instruments of the wise."
    • Instrument That by means of which any work is performed, or result is effected; a tool; a utensil; an implement; a device; as, the instruments of a mechanic; astronomical instruments. "All the lofty instruments of war."
    • Instrument To furnish or equip with instruments; to attach instruments to; as, the fighter planes were heavily instrumented; the patient was instrumented to monitor him remotely.
    • Instrument To perform upon an instrument; to prepare for an instrument; as, a sonata instrumented for orchestra.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Cat gut, used in tennis rackets and strings for musical instruments does not come from cats, but from sheep.
    • n instrument Something that serves as a means to the effecting of an end; anything that contributes to the production of an effect or the accomplishment of a purpose; a means; an agency.
    • n instrument Specifically Something used to produce a mechanical effect; a contrivance with which to perform mechanical work of any kind; a tool, implement, utensil, or machine.
    • n instrument Specifically In music, a mechanical contrivance or apparatus for producing musical sounds—that is, for setting up, either in a solid body or in a confined body of air, vibrations sufficiently rapid, regular, and definite to produce tones systematically related to one another. An instrument involves a vibration-producing agency, a vibratile body, usually a resonator of some kind, and various appliances for regulating the pitch, the force, the duration, and often the quality of the tones produced. Instruments may be grouped by reference to any one of these characteristics. Thus, with respect to the vibration-producing agency, they are— inflatile, blown by the breath, as a flute; by mechanically compressed air, as an organ or a concertina; or by the wind, as an æolian harp;
    • n instrument One who is used by another; a human tool.
    • n instrument In law, a writing given as the means of creating, securing, modifying, or terminating a right, or affording evidence, as a writing containing the terms of a contract, a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, etc.
    • n instrument See the adjectives. Synonyms Implement, Utensil, etc. See tool.
    • instrument In music, to compose or arrange for instruments, especially for an orchestra; score.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The anemometer is an instrument which measures the force, velocity, or pressure of the wind.
    • n Instrument in′strōō-ment a tool or utensil: a machine producing musical sounds: a writing containing a contract: one who, or that which, is made a means
    • ***


  • Heinrich Heine
    “Mark this well, you proud men of action! you are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.”
  • Samuel Lover
    Samuel Lover
    “Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.”
  • Washington Irving
    “The tongue is the only instrument that gets sharper with use.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    “The fibers of all things have their tension and are strained like the strings of an instrument.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “The intellect is not a serious thing, and never has been. It is an instrument on which one plays, that is all.”
  • Samuel Johnson
    “Language is only the instrument of science, and words are but the signs of ideas.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. instrument, L. instrumentum,. See Instruct
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr.,—L. instrumentuminstruĕre, to instruct.


In literature:

A tiny bell rang inside the dash, behind the instruments.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science April 1930" by Various
First mention of this instrument in New England.
"Annals of Music in America" by Henry Charles Lahee
But the imperfection of the modern instruments of Heuristic is quite unnecessary.
"Introduction to the Study of History" by Charles V. Langlois
The fast destroyer required a different instrument to the slow-moving trawler.
"Submarine Warfare of To-day" by Charles W. Domville-Fife
Minkiewicz again placed himself before the instrument and played, but with silent fingers.
"Melomaniacs" by James Huneker
An interior siren-call was on the instrument panel near him.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, May, 1930" by Various
The instrument was in working order.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, November, 1930" by Various
With the speed of thought the Xoranian flung his own body over to shield his fragile instruments.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science January 1931" by Various
Whenever the person in charge of the cow is convinced that gas has ceased to issue from the cannula the instrument should be removed.
"Special Report on Diseases of Cattle" by U.S. Department of Agriculture
This is beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result.
"Émile" by Jean Jacques Rousseau

In poetry:

How shall his vengeance be done?
How, when his purpose is clear?
Must he come down from his throne?
Hath he no instruments here?
"God's Vengeance" by John Hay
O THOU of whom I am the instrument,
O secret Spirit and Nature housed in me,
Let all my mortal being now be blent
In Thy still glory of divinity.
"Surrender" by Aurobindo Ghose
Louisa, while thy pliant fingers trace
The solemn beauties of the prospect round,
Or, on thy instrument, with touching grace,
Awaken all the witcheries of sound:
"To Miss Rouse Boughton" by Matilda Betham
And vision, and feeling, and sound, and scent,
Were the strings of a sensitive instrument,
That silently, patiently, watched and waited,
And unto my soul reverberated.
"The Poet And The Muse" by Alfred Austin
But the Musician shook his head;
"No tale I tell to-night," he said,
"While my poor instrument lies there,
Even as a child with vacant stare
Lies in its little coffin dead."
"Tales Of A Wayside Inn : Part 3. Interlude VI. " by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Thus, in the bosom of some winding grove,
Where oft the pensive melodist retires,
From his sweet instrument, the note of love,
Charms the rapt ear, but, as it charms, expires.
"Lines _To The Memory Of Mrs. A.H. Holdsworth_," by Sir John Carr

In news:

A hookah is an instrument generally used for smoking flavored tobacco.
Astronomers use a variety of instruments to study the signature of the Big Bang.
The finding was made with a balloon-borne instrument over Antartica.
Understanding the operation of CCC instruments.
Other benefits of higher g-level CCC instruments.
Oregon physician Peter Goodwin used the law he was instrumental in creating to end his own life.
Douglas Ewart and one of his homemade instruments.
Variations of the instrument of Christ's death are rich in history and symbolism.
Chuck Sanna, Product Marketing Engineer, Texas Instruments.
It's a well-nigh perfect instrument: portable, cheap and low-tech, with no moving parts.
Spaceflight-compatible clinical laboratory instruments developed at the NASA Johnson Space Center.
He began playing musical instruments at the age of 5.
So, you're thinking of using light scattering instrumentation.
Available for Syncrolite Series 2 and Series 3 instruments.
Walter Trout leads a fierce but controlled instrumental attack on Lonely, our Pick of the Week from his 21st album, Blues for the Modern Daze, out today.

In science:

This effect cannot be removed by instrumental means but can only be reduced by observations at a high radio frequencies.
The Effelsberg Search for Pulsars in the Galactic Centre
Clearly, the details of the z-distribution cannot yet be quantified with precision, this will likely require new instrumentation (mm interferometers – e.g.
High-Redshift Galaxies: The Far-Infrared and Sub-Millimeter View
The EPIC instruments are therefore ideally suited to investigate the absorbing matter in the dense cores of nearby galaxies by observing AGN behind the galaxies.
AGN in the XMM-Newton first-light image as probes for the interstellar medium in the LMC
The field was observed five times with the EPIC-PN instrument in January 2000 using different optical light blocking filters and slightly different pointing positions (Tab. 1).
AGN in the XMM-Newton first-light image as probes for the interstellar medium in the LMC
Gamma-ray luminosity versus spin-down luminosity for seven pulsars (filled dots) detected with the CGRO instruments.
Neutron Stars as Sources of High Energy Particles - the case of RPP