instrument Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “instrument” in the English Dictionary

"instrument" in British English

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instrumentnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈɪn.strə.mənt/
  • instrument noun [C] (MUSIC)

A2 (also musical instrument) an ​object, such as a ​piano, ​guitar, or ​drum, that is ​played to ​producemusicalsounds: Which instrument do you play?

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  • instrument noun [C] (TOOL)

C1 a ​tool or other ​device, ​especially one without ​electricalpower, used for ​performing a ​particularpiece of ​work: surgical instruments instruments of ​torture The man's ​injuries had ​obviously been ​caused by a ​blunt instrument. a ​device used for ​measuringspeed, ​height, etc. in ​vehicles, ​especiallyaircraft: the instrument ​panel The ​lightning had ​damaged the plane's instruments, and they weren't giving any ​readings.C2 formal a way of ​achieving or ​causing something: He ​saw the ​theatre as an instrument ofchange - a way of ​forcingpeople to ​considersocial and ​politicalissues.

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  • instrument noun [C] (FINANCE)

a ​type of investment in a ​company or in ​governmentdebt that can be ​traded on the ​financialmarkets: They ​trade in the debt instruments of ​developingcountries. increasinglycomplex financial instruments
(Definition of instrument from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"instrument" in American English

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instrumentnoun [C]

 us   /ˈɪn·strə·mənt/
  • instrument noun [C] (MUSIC)

an ​object, such as a ​piano, ​guitar, or ​flute, which is ​played to ​producemusicalsounds: He ​playssaxophone, ​trumpet, and several other instruments.
  • instrument noun [C] (TOOL)

a ​tool or other ​device used for doing a ​particularpiece of ​work: surgical instruments
(Definition of instrument from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"instrument" in Business English

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instrumentnoun [C]

(also financial instrument) uk   us   /ˈɪnstrəmənt/
FINANCE a ​financialasset that can be ​bought or ​sold, such as a ​bond, ​share, or other security : Fixed-income instrumentsincludebonds, Treasury ​bills, and ​notes. This will still ​leave sufficient ​funds in low-risk instruments such as the ​debtmarket. Hedging instruments such as ​futurescontracts are ​priced in ​dollars.
a ​tool, especially one without ​electricalpower, used for ​performing a particular ​piece of ​work: surgical/precision/optical instrument The first ​optical instruments were telescopes.
a ​piece of ​equipment used for ​measuringspeed, height, etc. in ​vehicles, especially ​aircraft: flight instruments
a way of ​achieving or causing something: The ​main instrument ofchange was the ​bankcreditcard.
LAW a ​legaldocument: This is a ​legal instrument and both ​claims will have to be decided by the English High Court.
(Definition of instrument from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“instrument” in American English

“instrument” in Business English

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