instrument

[in-struh-muhnt]
noun
1.
a mechanical tool or implement, especially one used for delicate or precision work: surgical instruments.
2.
a contrivance or apparatus for producing musical sounds: a stringed instrument.
3.
a means by which something is effected or done; agency: an instrument of government.
4.
a device for measuring the present value of a quantity under observation.
5.
a mechanical or electronic measuring device, especially one used in navigation: landing a plane by instruments.
6.
a formal legal document, as a draft or bond: negotiable instruments.
7.
a person used by another merely as a means to some private end; tool or dupe.
verb (used with object)
8.
to equip with instruments, as a machine or manufacturing process: to instrument a space vehicle.
9.
to arrange a composition for musical instruments; orchestrate.

Origin:
1250–1300; Middle English < Latin instrūmentum equip-ment, equivalent to instrū-, stem of instruere to equip (see instruct) + -mentum -ment; see instruct

underinstrument, noun


1. See tool.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
instrument
 
n
1.  a mechanical implement or tool, esp one used for precision work: surgical instrument
2.  music any of various contrivances or mechanisms that can be played to produce musical tones or sounds
3.  an important factor or agency in something: her evidence was an instrument in his arrest
4.  informal a person used by another to gain an end; dupe; tool
5.  a measuring device, such as a pressure gauge or ammeter
6.  a.  a device or system for use in navigation or control, esp of aircraft
 b.  (as modifier): instrument landing
7.  a formal legal document
 
vb
8.  another word for orchestrate
9.  to equip with instruments
 
[C13: from Latin instrūmentum tool, equipment, from instruere to erect, furnish; see instruct]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

instrument
late 13c., "musical instrument," from O.Fr. instrument, from L. instrumentem "a tool, apparatus, furniture, dress, document," from instruere "arrange, furnish" (see instruct). Broader sense of "that which is used as an agent in an performance" is from mid-14c. Instrumental
"musical composition for instruments without vocals" is from 1940.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

instrument in·stru·ment (ĭn'strə-mənt)
n.
A tool or implement, as for surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

instrument definition

programming
To install devices or instructions into hardware or software to monitor the operation of a system or component.
(1996-05-22)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
But, as often in finance, an instrument designed for insurance became a tool
  for speculators.
So an instrument that could already be heard almost all over the campus can now
  be heard around the world.
It's worse when it makes a legal instrument illegible to the citizens who
  safety and property are guarded by the law.
When judged by its size, our vocal system fails to impress as a musical
  instrument.
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