instrument Definition

  • 1a tool or device used for a particular purpose, especially for delicate or scientific work
  • 2a thing used to express and embody something
  • 3a musical instrument

Using instrument: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "instrument" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The surgeon's instruments were laid out on the table.

  • Example

    The pen is an instrument of communication.

  • Example

    He plays several musical instruments.

  • Example

    The telescope is an instrument for observing distant objects.

instrument Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for instrument

Idioms Using instrument

  • a method or approach that lacks subtlety or finesse


    Using brute force is like using a blunt instrument; it may get the job done, but it's not very elegant.

  • playing a key role in bringing about a particular outcome or result


    Her leadership was instrumental in securing the company's success.

  • to be aware of the current trends or opinions in a particular situation


    He always knows which way the wind is blowing when it comes to the latest fashion trends.

Phrases with instrument

  • a means of exerting control or influence over others


    The media is often seen as an instrument of power in modern society.

  • an object used to create music, such as a guitar, piano, or drums


    She has been playing the violin since she was a child and it remains her favorite musical instrument.

  • instrument of torture

    a tool or device used to inflict pain or punishment on someone


    The rack was a common instrument of torture during the Middle Ages.

Origins of instrument

from Latin 'instrumentum', meaning 'tool'


Summary: instrument in Brief

An 'instrument' [ˈɪnstrəmənt] is a tool or device used for a specific purpose, such as scientific work or musical performance. It can also refer to a thing used to express or embody something, as in 'The pen is an instrument of communication.' The term extends into phrases like 'instrument of power,' and idioms like 'blunt instrument,' denoting a lack of subtlety, and 'instrumental in,' indicating a key role in bringing about a particular outcome.

How do native speakers use this expression?