- The definition of instruments are tools or devices used for measurement, scientific or artistic purposes.
- An example of instruments are scalpels.
- An example of instruments are drums and guitars.
Many different musical instruments.Licensed from iStockPhoto
See also measurement.accelerometer an instrument for measuring and recording the rate of acceleration of an aircraft. algometer an instrument for measuring a person’s sensitivity to pain produced by pressure. — algometric, algometrical, adj. altimeter an instrument for determining altitude above a fixed level by comparison of air pressure readings. ammeter an instrument for measuring the amperage of an electrical current. anemoscope an instrument for recording the direction of the wind. astrolabe a navigational instrument formerly used for taking bearings of the sun and stars. See also representation. auriscope an instrument for examining the ear. —auriscopy, n. ballistic galvanometer fluxmeter. barometer an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure. bioinstrumentation the use of instruments to measure, record, and transmit data on bodily functions. Breathalyzer drunkometer. chromoptometer a device for measuring the degree of a person’s sense of color. chronometer a timing device of extreme accuracy, frequently with a device for checking and adjusting its accuracy. —chronometric, chronometrical, adj. chronoscope an instrument for accurate measurement of very short periods of time, as the time of trajectory of missiles. clepsydra an instrument for measuring time by the controlled flow of water or mercury through a small opening. cosmolabe Obsolete, an instrument, like an astrolabe, used for astronomical observations. cryometer a thermometer for measuring very low temperatures. cyclometer an instrument for counting the revolutions of a wheel that is rolled along a surface and thus the distance traveled. densimeter an instrument for measuring the density or specific gravity of a solid or liquid substance. dioptometer an instrument for measuring the refractive index of the lens of the eye. dosimeter a device, carried or worn by people working near radiation for measuring the amount of radiation to which they are exposed. drunkometer a device for measuring the amount of alcohol in the blood-stream, usually from the breath. Also called breathalyzer. erythrocytometer a device for measuring the count of red blood cells in the blood. eudiometer an instrument for measuring the amount of oxygen in the air and for analyzing gases. extensometer an instrument for measuring minute degrees of contraction, expansion, or deformation, as of metals. fluorometer an instrument for measuring the emission of radiation in the form of visible light and identifying the substance that is its source. — fluorometric, adj. fluoroscope a device fitted with a screen that fluoresces when exposed to radiation. fluxmeter an instrument for measuring magnetic flux; a ballistic galvanometer. galactometer lactometer. galvanometer an instrument for measuring the strength and direction of an electric current. —galvanometric, galvanometrical, adj. galvanoscope an instrument for detecting the presence of an electric current and determining its direction. glossograph an instrument for recording the movements of the tongue during speech. goniometer an instrument for measuring angles, especially those of solid bodies. gramophone an instrument for reproducing sound from records; phonograph. graphophone an instrument for reproducing sound from wax records. graphoscope an optical device for magnifying pictures, as engravings, photographs, etc. heliometer an instrument originally designed for measuring the sun’s diameter, now used for measuring the angular distance between stars. horometer an instrument for measuring time. hydrometer an instrument for measuring the specific gravity of a liquid. hygrometer an instrument for measuring the amount of moisture in the air. hypsometer an instrument for measuring altitude by the relationship between atmospheric pressure and the boiling point of a liquid. indigometer an instrument used for determining the strength of an indigo solution. instrumentation 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. interferometer 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. jovilabe an instrument used for determining the positions of the satellites that surround the planet Jupiter. kaleidophon, kaleidophone an instrument for the visual representation of sound waves. kaleidoscope 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. kinetoscope an instrument for illustrating different combinations of kinematic curves. See also media. konimeter an instrument for measuring impurities in the air. —konimetric, adj. lactometer an instrument for measuring the richness of milk from its specific gravity. Also called galactometer. lactoscope an instrument for measuring the opacity of milk so that its cream content can be determined. laryngoscope an apparatus for examining the larynx. —Iaryngoscopist, n. —laryngoscopic, adj. leucoscope an instrument for testing the eyes to determine the ability to distinguish variations in color or intensity of light. madisterium a surgical instrument for pulling out hairs. manometer 1. an instrument for measuring the pressure of gases or vapors. 2. an instrument for measuring blood pressure. Also called sphygmomanometer. —manometric. adj. megameter 1. an instrument for determining longitude by observation of the stars. 2. Rare. an instrument for measuring large objects. melanoscope an optical device composed of red and violet glass that transmits red light only, used for distinguishing red in varicolored flames. metrograph a device for recording the speed of locomotives and the time, place, and length of all their stops. metronome an instrument for marking time in music that produces regular ticking sounds for a variety of rhythmic settings. —metronomic, metronomical, adj. mutoscope an instrument for recording and reproducing the illusion of motion by means of a series of photographs. myrioscope a form of kaleidoscope, especially one that is used when exhibiting carpets. nauropometer Rare. an apparatus for measuring the inclination of a heeling or listing ship. Nilometer 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. noctograph an apparatus or register for recording timely and proper observance by watchmen of their patrols. odometer an instrument for recording elapsed distance. ohmmeter an instrument for measuring electrical resistance in ohms. ondograph an instrument for recording oscillatory variations, as those in alternating currents. —ondogram, n. ondometer an instrument for measuring the wavelengths of radio waves. oometer a device for measuring eggs. optotechnics the technology of optical instruments and apparatus. osmometer an instrument for measuring osmotic pressure. —osmometric, adj. pachymeter an instrument for measuring the thickness of things. paralellometer an instrument for ascertaining the accuracy of parallel surfaces, as of a sheet of plate glass. pedometer a device for measuring distance traversed on foot. penetrometer an instrument for measuring the degree of penetrability of a solid. phantasmascope, phantascope an optical device that enables the viewer to converge the optical axes of the eyes and experience some of the phenomena of binocular vision. photodrome 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. photometer an instrument for measuring various characteristics of light, as intensity, distribution, flux, color, etc. piezometer 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. planometer a device for measuring the flatness of a machined surface. Also called surface plate. plastometer an instrument for measuring the plasticity of a material. —plastometric, adj. pneumatograph an instrument for recording the movements of the chest during respiration. praxinoscope an instrument that represents the effect of moving images on a screen. pulsimeter, pulsometer an instrument for measuring the rate of the pulse. pycnometer a container for measuring the density of liquids or solids. pyrheliometer an instrument for measuring the intensity of the sun’s radiation. —pyrheliometric, adj. pyrometer an instrument for detecting and measuring high temperatures. —pyrometric, pyrometry, adj. pyrophotometer a type of pyrometer that measures temperature optically or photometrically. quadrant an instrument for measuring angular elevation, used in astronomy, navigation, surveying, etc., similar in principle to the sextant. —quadrantal, ad]. radiometer 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. seismograph an instrument for measuring and recording the intensity of earth tremors. sextant a navigational instrument for determining latitude and longitude by measuring the angles of heavenly bodies in relation to the horizon or other heavenly bodies. snooperscope a device using infrared radiation and a fluoroscope to enable an observer to identify objects in the dark. spectrobolometer an instrument combining a bolometer and a spectroscope, used for determining the distribution of energy in a spectrum. —spectrobolometric, adj. spectroscope a device for producing and observing a spectrum of light or other radiation. —spectroscopy, n. speedometer an instrument that records the speed of a vehicle in motion for the driver of the vehicle. sphygmograph an instrument for measuring and recording various characteristics of the arterial pulse. sphygmomanometer manometer, def. 2. stadiometer 1. an instrument with a toothed wheel for measuring curves, broken lines, etc. 2. an obsolete form of tachymeter. sympalmograph an apparatus for illustrating in graphic form the composition of two simple harmonic motions at right angles. sympiesometer, sympiezometer 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. tachistoscope an instrument for exposing pictures and other visual stimuli for very brief periods, used in psychological testing and various teaching methods. tachometer an instrument for measuring revolutions per minute, especially of an internal combustion engine. tachymeter a surveying instrument for measuring distance, height, elevation, etc. tachyscope a type of kinescope that presents the effect of moving pictures by use of a rotating glass plate with images attached to it. telemeter 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. theodolite a surveying instrument for measuring vertical and horizontal angles. —theodolitic, adj. thermometer an instrument for measuring temperature. turbidimeter an instrument for measuring the turbidity of water or other fluids. —turbidimetric, adj. udomograph a self-registering rain gauge. urinometer an instrument for determining the specific gravity of urine. vacuometer an instrument used for comparing barometers at varying pressures against a Standard barometer. velocimeter a device for measuring speed or velocity, especially that of projectiles. viameter an early form of odometer, for measuring the distance traveled by a carriage. Also called viatometer. viatometer viameter. vibroscope an apparatus for the observation and recording of vibrations. videophone an apparatus combining a telephone with a television transmitter and receiver so that the parties speaking to one another can also see one another. voltammeter an instrument for measuring the voltage and amperage of an electrical current. voltmeter an instrument for measuring the voltage of an electrical current. volumenometer an instrument for measuring the volume of a solid body and its specific gravity by the quantity of a gas or liquid it displaces. volumescope a graduated glass tube for showing the changes in volume in certain compounds as a result of chemical action. volumeter 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.