Definition of INSTRUMENT

INSTRUMENT Noun and Verb

Instrument serves as both a noun and a verb, representing a tool or device used for a specific purpose or the act of employing such a tool. As a noun, it refers to an object designed or adapted to perform a particular function or task, often in a precise or specialized manner. As a verb, it denotes the action of utilizing or employing such a tool to accomplish a task or achieve an objective. Instruments play crucial roles in various fields, including music, science, surgery, and measurement.

INSTRUMENT as a noun

As a noun, an instrument is a tool or device designed for a specific purpose, often with precision and specialization. Instruments can vary widely in form, function, and complexity, ranging from simple handheld tools to intricate machinery. They serve diverse purposes across different domains, including musical instruments for creating music, scientific instruments for conducting experiments, surgical instruments for performing operations, and measuring instruments for quantifying physical quantities.

INSTRUMENT as a verb

As a verb, to instrument means to utilize or employ a tool or device to accomplish a task or achieve a goal. This involves the deliberate use of an instrument in a systematic or skillful manner to perform a specific function. Instrumenting often requires knowledge, expertise, and precision to ensure the effective and efficient execution of tasks, whether in scientific experimentation, musical performance, technical procedures, or other activities.

Musical Instruments: In the realm of music, instruments are devices used to create sounds, melodies, and rhythms, contributing to the creation of music in various genres and styles. They include a wide array of devices such as string instruments like guitars and violins, wind instruments like flutes and trumpets, percussion instruments like drums and xylophones, and electronic instruments like synthesizers and keyboards. Each type of instrument produces distinctive sounds and textures, allowing musicians to express themselves creatively and artistically.

Scientific Instruments: In scientific endeavors, instruments are essential tools for observation, experimentation, and measurement. They enable scientists and researchers to collect data, analyze phenomena, and test hypotheses across diverse fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and geology. Examples of scientific instruments include microscopes, telescopes, spectrometers, thermometers, and particle accelerators, each designed to facilitate specific investigations and analyses.

Surgical Instruments: In medicine and healthcare, instruments play critical roles in surgical procedures, diagnostic tests, and medical treatments. Surgical instruments are specialized tools used by surgeons, nurses, and medical professionals to perform precise and delicate tasks during surgeries and medical interventions. They include scalpels, forceps, retractors, scissors, and probes, among others, designed to ensure precision, safety, and effectiveness in patient care.

Measurement Instruments: Measurement instruments are devices used to quantify physical quantities such as length, mass, temperature, pressure, and electrical signals. They are essential for scientific research, engineering applications, industrial processes, and everyday measurements. Examples of measurement instruments include rulers, scales, thermometers, pressure gauges, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes, each calibrated to provide accurate and reliable measurements in specific contexts.

In conclusion, instrument functions as both a noun and a verb, representing a tool or device used for a specific purpose and the action of employing such a tool to accomplish tasks or achieve objectives. Instruments play diverse and essential roles across various domains, including music, science, surgery, and measurement, enabling humans to explore, create, innovate, and improve the world around them. Understanding the functions, characteristics, and applications of instruments is crucial for leveraging their capabilities effectively and advancing knowledge, technology, and human progress.

INSTRUMENT in a sentence

INSTRUMENT as a noun in a sentence

  • The violin is a beautiful musical instrument.
  • Scientists use various instruments to measure atmospheric conditions.
  • The surgeon carefully sterilized the surgical instruments before the operation.
  • The telescope is an essential instrument for observing distant celestial objects.
  • The piano is a versatile instrument that can play a wide range of musical genres.
  • The thermometer is a common instrument used to measure temperature.
  • The treaty serves as an instrument for promoting peace and cooperation among nations.
  • The compass is an ancient navigation instrument used by sailors to find direction.

INSTRUMENT as a verb in a sentence

  • The government plans to instrument new policies to address climate change.
  • The researchers aim to instrument a study to investigate the effects of the new drug.
  • She hopes to instrument changes in the company’s management structure to improve efficiency.
  • The artist seeks to instrument social change through their thought-provoking artwork.
  • The team will instrument a series of experiments to test the hypothesis.
  • He plans to instrument innovative strategies to expand the company’s market reach.
  • The organization intends to instrument community outreach programs to support local residents.
  • They will instrument diplomatic negotiations to resolve the conflict peacefully.

Etymology of INSTRUMENT

The term instrument originates from the Latin word “instrumentum,” meaning tool or implement. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Instrumentum: In Latin, “instrumentum” referred to a tool, implement, or utensil used to perform a specific task or function. It could be anything from a simple handheld tool to a complex apparatus.
  • Instrument: Over time, “instrument” evolved to refer to a device or tool used to carry out a particular action or achieve a specific purpose. It encompasses a wide range of objects, from simple hand tools to sophisticated scientific instruments, musical instruments, surgical instruments, and measuring devices.

Therefore, instrument denotes any tool or device designed for a specific purpose, such as measurement, observation, analysis, or performance. The term emphasizes the functionality and utility of the object in facilitating tasks or activities, whether in scientific research, music, surgery, or other fields.


  • Tool
  • Device
  • Apparatus
  • Implement
  • Equipment
  • Appliance
  • Contrivance
  • Utensil


  • Hand
  • Manual
  • Unaided
  • Non-instrument
  • Manual operation
  • Natural
  • Unassisted
  • Unmechanized


  • Tool
  • Device
  • Equipment
  • Apparatus
  • Implement
  • Machine
  • Instrumentation
  • Utensil

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