instrument

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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 seized the telephone at my elbow, pressing upon the button which would call the chief engineer to the instrument in the bowels of the ship, only to find him already at the receiver attempting to reach me.
I shall not know," replied Alvarez, "that the Coldwater passes thirty; nor shall any other man aboard know it," and, with his words, he drew a revolver from his pocket, and before either I or Johnson could prevent it had put a bullet into every instrument upon the bridge, ruining them beyond repair.
With mixed feelings, she seated herself at a little distance from the numbers round the instrument, to listen.
Knightley had had no concern in giving the instrument.
I became almost frantic as I let my imagination run riot among the possibilities for which this clicking instrument might stand.
Well, I sat there all night, listening to that tantalizing clicking, now and then moving the sending-key just to let the other end know that the instrument had been discovered.
The incident of the finding of that buried telegraph instrument upon the lonely Sahara is little short of uncanny, in view of your story of the adventures of David Innes.
If he had ever raised a cairn above the telegraph instrument no sign of it remained now.
When we reached the spot and unearthed the little box the instrument was quiet, nor did repeated attempts upon the part of our telegrapher succeed in winning a response from the other end of the line.
He didn't need to be told what caused my excitement, for the instant he was awake he, too, heard the long-hoped for click, and with a whoop of delight pounced upon the instrument.
My fingers," said Elizabeth, "do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do.
Elizabeth received them with all the forbearance of civility, and, at the request of the gentlemen, remained at the instrument till her ladyship's carriage was ready to take them all home.

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