instrument

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Related to instruments: Percussion instruments, Woodwind instruments

instrument

1. Music any of various contrivances or mechanisms that can be played to produce musical tones or sounds
2. a measuring device, such as a pressure gauge or ammeter
3. 
a. a device or system for use in navigation or control, esp of aircraft
b. (as modifier): instrument landing
4. a formal legal document

Instrument

 

a tool of human labor or an actuating mechanism of a machine, which “takes hold of an object of labor and alters it in an expedient fashion” (K. Marx, in K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, p. 384).

Instruments are divided into the following categories: (1) cutting (cutter, drill, broach, milling cutter), (2) pressing (stamp, knurl), (3) polishing (polishing wheel, whetstone), (4) percussion (hammer, chisel, punch), and (5) fastening-clamping (machine tool chuck, cutter tool post, vise, tongs). Various devices, apparatus, and equipment used in science and technology for measurements and other procedures and in medicine and veterinary science for surgical operations, therapeutic procedures, and research are also called instruments.

instrument

[′in·strə·mənt]
(engineering)
A device for measuring and sometimes also recording and controlling the value of a quantity under observation.

instrument

A device using an internal mechanism to show visually or aurally the attitude, altitude, or operation of an aircraft or an aircraft part. It includes electronic devices for automatically controlling an aircraft in flight.

instrument

(programming)
To install devices or instructions into hardware or software to monitor the operation of a system or component.
References in classic literature ?
I have heard him lamenting her having no instrument repeatedly; oftener than I should suppose such a circumstance would, in the common course of things, occur to him.
Upon the principles of the Declaration of Independence, the dissolution of the ties of allegiance, the assumption of sovereign power, and the institution of civil government, are all acts of transcendent authority, which the people alone are competent to perform; and, accordingly, it is in the name and by the authority of the people, that two of these acts--the dissolution of allegiance, with the severance from the British Empire, and the declaration of the United Colonies, as free and independent States--were performed by that instrument.
What reason could there be to infer, that force was intended to be the sole instrument of authority, merely because there is a power to make use of it when necessary?
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation.
These are the usual nautical instruments," I replied, "and I know the use of them.
The discordant tones of the voices and instruments drew nearer, and now droning songs mingled with the sound of the tambourines and cymbals.
But Delafield possessed other attractions to catch the attention of the audience: his powers on the instrument greatly exceeded those of any of his competitors, and his execution was really wonderful; every tongue was silent, every ear was attentive, and every head nodded approbation, excepting that of our heroine.
Besides the sticks and the drums, there are no other musical instruments among the Typees, except one which might appropriately be denominated a nasal flute.
The instruments provided for the journey consisted of two barometers, two thermometers, two compasses, a sextant, two chronometers, an artificial horizon, and an altazimuth, to throw out the height of distant and inaccessible objects.
By the light which escaped from it, the prisoner beheld, all about the room, frightful instruments whose use she did not understand.
Slaves were passing among the guests, distributing small musical instruments of a single string.
What memories cling 'round the instruments of our pleasure.

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