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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

instrument

[′in·strə·mənt]
(engineering)
A device for measuring and sometimes also recording and controlling the value of a quantity under observation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

instrument

(programming)
To install devices or instructions into hardware or software to monitor the operation of a system or component.
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)