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medical instruments


1. A tool or implement used to do or facilitate work, especially a small precision tool used by a professional: sterilized the scalpel and other surgical instruments.
2. A device for recording, measuring, or controlling, especially such a device functioning as part of a control system.
3. Music A device designed to enable a person to make musical sounds, as by blowing into it, striking it, depressing the keys on a keyboard, or plucking, strumming, or running a bow over strings.
4. A means by which something is done; an agency: "The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices / Make instruments to plague us" (Shakespeare).
5. One used by another to accomplish a purpose; a dupe.
6. A legal document, especially one that represents a right of payment or conveys an interest, such as a check, promissory note, deed, or will.
tr.v. (-mĕnt′) in·stru·ment·ed, in·stru·ment·ing, in·stru·ments
1. To provide or equip with instruments.
2. Music To compose or arrange for performance.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin īnstrūmentum, tool, implement, from īnstruere, to prepare; see instruct.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


See also measurement.

an instrument for measuring and recording the rate of acceleration of an aircraft.
an instrument for measuring a person’s sensitivity to pain produced by pressure. — algometric, algometrical, adj.
an instrument for determining altitude above a fixed level by comparison of air pressure readings.
an instrument for measuring the amperage of an electrical current.
an instrument for recording the direction of the wind.
a navigational instrument formerly used for taking bearings of the sun and stars. See also representation.
an instrument for examining the ear. — auriscopy, n.
an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure.
the use of instruments to measure, record, and transmit data on bodily functions.
a device for measuring the degree of a person’s sense of color.
a timing device of extreme accuracy, frequently with a device for checking and adjusting its accuracy. — chronometric, chronometrical, adj.
an instrument for accurate measurement of very short periods of time, as the time of trajectory of missiles.
an instrument for measuring time by the controlled flow of water or mercury through a small opening.
Obsolete, an instrument, like an astrolabe, used for astronomical observations.
a thermometer for measuring very low temperatures.
an instrument for counting the revolutions of a wheel that is rolled along a surface and thus the distance traveled.
an instrument for measuring the density or specific gravity of a solid or liquid substance.
an instrument for measuring the refractive index of the lens of the eye.
a device, carried or worn by people working near radiation for measuring the amount of radiation to which they are exposed.
a device for measuring the amount of alcohol in the blood-stream, usually from the breath. Also called breathalyzer.
a device for measuring the count of red blood cells in the blood.
an instrument for measuring the amount of oxygen in the air and for analyzing gases.
an instrument for measuring minute degrees of contraction, expansion, or deformation, as of metals.
an instrument for measuring the emission of radiation in the form of visible light and identifying the substance that is its source. — fluorometric, adj.
a device fitted with a screen that fluoresces when exposed to radiation.
an instrument for measuring magnetic flux; a ballistic galvanometer.
an instrument for measuring the strength and direction of an electric current. — galvanometric, galvanometrical, adj.
an instrument for detecting the presence of an electric current and determining its direction.
an instrument for recording the movements of the tongue during speech.
an instrument for measuring angles, especially those of solid bodies.
an instrument for reproducing sound from records; phonograph.
an instrument for reproducing sound from wax records.
an optical device for magnifying pictures, as engravings, photographs, etc.
an instrument originally designed for measuring the sun’s diameter, now used for measuring the angular distance between stars.
an instrument for measuring time.
an instrument for measuring the specific gravity of a liquid.
an instrument for measuring the amount of moisture in the air.
an instrument for measuring altitude by the relationship between atmospheric pressure and the boiling point of a liquid.
an instrument used for determining the strength of an indigo solution.
1. the technology of designing and constructing instruments, especially for use in science and industry.
2. a particular system of instruments in a special context.
3. instruments collectively.
an instrument that measures wavelengths, minute distances, or the refractivity of lenses by comparison of interference patterns generated by the splitting and reuniting of a beam of light passed through a lens. — interferometry, n.
an instrument used for determining the positions of the satellites that surround the planet Jupiter.
an instrument for the visual representation of sound waves.
an optical device composed of bits of colored glass and several reflecting surfaces that presents to the viewer symmetrical patterns when shaken or rotated. — kaleidoscopic, adj.
an instrument for illustrating different combinations of kinematic curves. See also media.
an instrument for measuring impurities in the air. — konimetric, adj.
an instrument for measuring the richness of milk from its specific gravity. Also called galactometer.
an instrument for measuring the opacity of milk so that its cream content can be determined.
an apparatus for examining the larynx. — Iaryngoscopist, n. — laryngoscopic, adj.
an instrument for testing the eyes to determine the ability to distinguish variations in color or intensity of light.
a surgical instrument for pulling out hairs.
1. an instrument for measuring the pressure of gases or vapors.
2. an instrument for measuring blood pressure. Also called sphygmomanometer. — manometric. adj.
1. an instrument for determining longitude by observation of the stars.
2. Rare. an instrument for measuring large objects.
an optical device composed of red and violet glass that transmits red light only, used for distinguishing red in varicolored flames.
a device for recording the speed of locomotives and the time, place, and length of all their stops.
an instrument for marking time in music that produces regular ticking sounds for a variety of rhythmic settings. — metronomic, metronomical, adj.
an instrument for recording and reproducing the illusion of motion by means of a series of photographs.
a form of kaleidoscope, especially one that is used when exhibiting carpets.
Rare. an apparatus for measuring the inclination of a heeling or listing ship.
an instrument used for measuring the increase in the level of the River Nile during its flood period, consisting of a water chamber containing a graduated pillar. Also called Niloscope.
an apparatus or register for recording timely and proper observance by watchmen of their patrols.
an instrument for recording elapsed distance.
an instrument for measuring electrical resistance in ohms.
an instrument for recording oscillatory variations, as those in alternating currents. — ondogram, n.
an instrument for measuring the wavelengths of radio waves.
a device for measuring eggs.
the technology of optical instruments and apparatus.
an instrument for measuring osmotic pressure. — osmometric, adj.
an instrument for measuring the thickness of things.
an instrument for ascertaining the accuracy of parallel surfaces, as of a sheet of plate glass.
a device for measuring distance traversed on foot.
an instrument for measuring the degree of penetrability of a solid.
an optical device that enables the viewer to converge the optical axes of the eyes and experience some of the phenomena of binocular vision.
1. an apparatus that regulates light flashes so that a rotating object appears to be stationary or moving in a direction opposite to its actual motion.
2. an apparatus for producing unusual optical effects by flashing light upon disks bearing various figures, patterns, etc.
an instrument for measuring various characteristics of light, as intensity, distribution, flux, color, etc.
one of various devices for measuring the pressure of a fluid or the degree of compressibility of a substance when subjected to such pressure. — piezometric, adj.
a device for measuring the flatness of a machined surface. Also called surface plate.
an instrument for measuring the plasticity of a material. — plastometric, adj.
an instrument for recording the movements of the chest during respiration.
an instrument that represents the effect of moving images on a screen.
an instrument for measuring the rate of the pulse.
a container for measuring the density of liquids or solids.
an instrument for measuring the intensity of the sun’s radiation. — pyrheliometric, adj.
an instrument for detecting and measuring high temperatures. — pyrometric, pyrometry, adj.
a type of pyrometer that measures temperature optically or photometrically.
an instrument for measuring angular elevation, used in astronomy, navigation, surveying, etc., similar in principle to the sextant. — quadrantal, ad].
an instrument for measuring the intensity of radiant energy, composed of vanes which rotate at speeds proportionate to the intensity of the energy source. — radiometric, adj.
an instrument for measuring and recording the intensity of earth tremors.
a navigational instrument for determining latitude and longitude by measuring the angles of heavenly bodies in relation to the horizon or other heavenly bodies.
a device using infrared radiation and a fluoroscope to enable an observer to identify objects in the dark.
an instrument combining a bolometer and a spectroscope, used for determining the distribution of energy in a spectrum. — spectrobolometric, adj.
a device for producing and observing a spectrum of light or other radiation. — spectroscopy, n.
an instrument that records the speed of a vehicle in motion for the driver of the vehicle.
an instrument for measuring and recording various characteristics of the arterial pulse.
manometer, def. 2.
1. an instrument with a toothed wheel for measuring curves, broken lines, etc.
2. an obsolete form of tachymeter.
an apparatus for illustrating in graphic form the composition of two simple harmonic motions at right angles.
1. an instrument for measuring the pressure exerted by currents of water. See also water.
2. an instrument for measuring the weight of the atmosphere by the compression of a column of gas. See also ATMOSPHERE.
an instrument for exposing pictures and other visual stimuli for very brief periods, used in psychological testing and various teaching methods.
an instrument for measuring revolutions per minute, especially of an internal combustion engine.
a surveying instrument for measuring distance, height, elevation, etc.
a type of kinescope that presents the effect of moving pictures by use of a rotating glass plate with images attached to it.
1. an instrument for measuring the distance of objects from the observer, as the range finder in artillery.
2. an electronic device for taking readings from other distant instruments.
a surveying instrument for measuring vertical and horizontal angles. — theodolitic, adj.
an instrument for measuring temperature.
an instrument for measuring the turbidity of water or other fluids. — turbidimetric, adj.
a self-registering rain gauge.
an instrument for determining the specific gravity of urine.
an instrument used for comparing barometers at varying pressures against a Standard barometer.
a device for measuring speed or velocity, especially that of projectiles.
an early form of odometer, for measuring the distance traveled by a carriage. Also called viatometer.
an apparatus for the observation and recording of vibrations.
an apparatus combining a telephone with a television transmitter and receiver so that the parties speaking to one another can also see one another.
an instrument for measuring the voltage and amperage of an electrical current.
an instrument for measuring the voltage of an electrical current.
an instrument for measuring the volume of a solid body and its specific gravity by the quantity of a gas or liquid it displaces.
a graduated glass tube for showing the changes in volume in certain compounds as a result of chemical action.
an instrument for measuring the volumes of gases and liquids and of solids by the amount of gas or liquid they displace. — volumetric, volumetrical, adj.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
As in all arts which are brought to perfection it is necessary that they should have their proper instruments if they would complete their works, so is it in the art of managing a family: now of instruments some of them are alive, others inanimate; thus with respect to the pilot of the ship, the tiller is without life, the sailor is alive; for a servant is as an instrument in many arts.
At the period when the Gun Club essayed their great experiment, such instruments had reached a high degree of perfection, and produced some magnificent results.
Their outward garments were adorned with the figures of suns, moons, and stars; interwoven with those of fiddles, flutes, harps, trumpets, guitars, harpsichords, and many other instruments of music, unknown to us in Europe.
Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit: behind them there is still the Self.
To understand what is meant by accuracy, it will be well to consider first instruments of measurement, such as a balance or a thermometer.
"Sir," said Captain Nemo, showing me the instruments hanging on the walls of his room, "here are the contrivances required for the navigation of the Nautilus.
As regards the optical instruments at their disposal, they had excellent marine glasses specially constructed for this journey.
The bourgeois clap-trap about the family and education, about the hallowed co-relation of parent and child, becomes all the more disgusting, the more, by the action of Modern Industry, all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder, and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labour.
Johnson," I said, "and attend to the work of unpacking the extra instruments and having them properly set upon the bridge."
"I declare, I do not know when I have heard any thing that has given me more satisfaction!It always has quite hurt me that Jane Fairfax, who plays so delightfully, should not have an instrument. It seemed quite a shame, especially considering how many houses there are where fine instruments are absolutely thrown away.
They opened their eyes, under protest, and saw instruments of destruction attacking the creepers.

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