Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: TOOLS

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Latin
Origin: instrumentum, from instruere; INSTRUCT

instrument

noun
     
instrument
in‧stru‧ment W2 [countable]
1

tool

TZM a small tool used in work such as science or medicine:
surgical instruments
2

music

APM an object used for producing music, such as a piano or violin [= musical instrument; ↪ instrumental, instrumentalist]:
electronic instruments
3

for measuring

TM a piece of equipment for measuring and showing distance, speed, temperature etc:
a failure of the flight instruments
sensitive earthquake-detecting instruments
4

method

[usually singular] something or someone that is used to get a particular result
instrument of
Interest rates are an important instrument of economic policy.
instrument for (doing) something
Good management should be an instrument for innovation.
5

for hurting

something that is used to hit or hurt someone:
Death was due to a blow on the head with a blunt instrument.
instrument of torture (=an object used to make people suffer pain until they give information)
6

instrument of fate/God

literary someone or something that is used by a power beyond our control
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