Meaning of INSTRUMENT in English

I. ˈinztrəmənt, ˈin(t)strə- noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin instrumentum, from instruere to construct, equip, arrange, instruct + -mentum -ment


a. : a means whereby something is achieved, performed, or furthered

the modern university is the instrument for preserving, enlarging, and disseminating our ever-increasing body of knowledge — Harlan Hatcher

b. : a person or group made use of by another as a means or aid : dupe , tool

suspecting … that I only wished to make an instrument of him — W.H.Hudson †1922

2. : utensil , implement

surgical instruments

instruments of torture

3. : an implement used to produce music especially as distinguished from the human voice — see percussion instrument , stringed instrument , wind instrument

4. obsolete : an organ of the body


a. : a legal document (as a deed, will, bond, lease, agreement, mortgage, note, power of attorney, ticket on carrier, bill of lading, insurance policy, warrant, writ) evidencing legal rights or duties especially of one party to another

b. : something capable of being presented as evidence to a court for inspection

c. : an act recorded in writing by a notary : a notarial act


a. : a measuring device for determining the present value of a quantity under observation ; broadly : a device (as for controlling, recording, regulating, computing) that functions on data obtained by such a measuring device

b. : an electrical or mechanical device used in navigating an airplane ; specifically : such a device used as the sole means of navigating when there is limited or no visibility

Synonyms: see implement , mean

- on instruments

II. -ˌment, -_mənt — see -ment II transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

1. : to address a legal instrument (as a petition) to

2. : to prepare or score for one or more musical instruments

instrument a sonata for orchestra

: orchestrate

3. : to equip (as a process, machine, or vehicle) with instruments

the whole factory is well instrumented — Farm Chemicals

an instrumented satellite

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.