From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Tools, Medicine, Music, Measurement
instrumentin‧stru‧ment /ˈɪnstrəmənt/ ●●● W2 noun [countable] 1 instrument_surgical.jpg toolTZM a small tool used in work such as science or medicine surgical instruments2 musicAPM an object used for producing music, such as a piano or violin SYN musical instrument, → instrumental, instrumentalist electronic instrumentsbrass/wind/percussion/stringed etc instrument3 for measuringTM a piece of equipment for measuring and showing distance, speed, temperature etc a failure of the flight instruments sensitive earthquake-detecting instruments4 method [usually singular]WAY/METHOD something or someone that is used to get a particular resultinstrument of Interest rates are an important instrument of economic policy.instrument for (doing) something Good management should be an instrument for innovation.5 HURT/CAUSE PAINfor hurting something that is used to hit or hurt someone Death was due to a blow on the head with a blunt instrument.instrument of torture (=an object used to make people suffer pain until they give information)6 instrument of fate/GodCOLLOCATIONSMeaning 2: an object used for producing music, such as a piano or violinverbsplay an instrumentCan you play a musical instrument?learn to play an instrument (also learn an instrument)All students at the school have the opportunity to learn an instrument.tune an instrument (=make it play at the right pitch)The musicians were tuning their instruments before the concert began.hire an instrumentYou could hire an instrument from a music shop.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + instrumenta wind/woodwind instrumentViolas blend very well with most of the wind instruments.a brass instrumentThe tuba is the deepest of the brass instruments.a string/stringed instrumentHe spent many hours playing string instruments of all kinds.a keyboard instrumentKeyboard instruments are relatively easy to learn.a percussion instrument (=one that you hit)Children can learn to play percussion instruments through games and electronic instrumentAn electronic instrument requires no tuning and very little maintenance.a solo instrument (=one that can be played on its own)The organ has increasingly become recognized as a solo instrument in its own right.
Examples from the Corpus
instrumentThe army is an instrument of the government.Even small children were used as instruments in the regime, encouraged to spy on and report their parents.The Committee on Ethics in Public Life was regarded by many as being a mere instrument of the government.I sat in the dentist's chair and looked at the row of instruments beside me.Spending was once considered the most powerful instrument of government policy.The microscope is perhaps the most widely used scientific instrument.The instrument measures breathing and blood pressure.The instrument produces a sound similar to a violin.The company specializes in the manufacture of high quality writing instruments.brass/wind/percussion/stringed etc instrumentConcertos for brass instruments have helped to develop and increase their technical resources.Mac had said something about his fondness for wind instruments without actually saying what he played.The same held true for mouthpieces for wind instruments and replacement roots for teeth, Sakai explained.He bashed about on percussion instruments.It boomed as if the whole house was a resonating chamber for the brass instrument on the door.Many of the stringed instruments imitate the sounds of horses; wind instruments imitate the sounds of birds and other wild animals.If you have access to stringed instruments, bring them to class and let the students try playing them.instrument for (doing) somethingPolls have become not only an instrument for taking the momentary public pulse but a servant of political spin.However, we are very keen to encourage centres not to interpret this as meaning a separate assessment instrument for every outcome.This attention to detail only enhances the beauty and warmth of the voice itself, the ideal instrument for the part.Thoughtful, well-reasoned covert action, lawfully reported to Congress, can be a tremendous foreign-policy instrument for a president.These examinations are probably a poor instrument for measuring the quality of medical education because they concentrate on factual retention.A bomb is a terrible and random instrument for tearing flesh.Most often C rdenas uses her own body as the instrument for her explorations.I was aghast to see that Peter had spread the instruments for the operation on the dining table.instrument of tortureIt resembled a medieval instrument of torture, a rack or wheel.
From King Business Dictionaryinstrumentin‧stru‧ment /ˈɪnstrəmənt/ noun [countable]1 (also financial instrument)FINANCE an investment such as a bond or sharethe growth of financial instruments such as options and futures debt instrument equity instrument hedging instrument money-market instrument negotiable instrument2 (also statutory instrument) British EnglishLAW an instruction given by a British minister that has the force of a lawThe Secretary of State may, by order made by statutory instrument, determine the fees payable by any applicant to a licensing board.3LAW a formal legal document trust instrumentOrigin instrument (1200-1300) Latin instrumentum, from instruere; INSTRUCT