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In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed... No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.
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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary
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1828.mshaffer.comWord [instrument]

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instrument

IN'STRUMENT, n. [L. instrumentum, from instruo, to prepare; that which is prepared.]

1. A tool; that by which work is performed or any thing is effected; as a knife, a hammer, a saw, a plow, &c. Swords, muskets and cannon are instruments of destruction. A telescope is an astronomical instrument.

2. That which is subservient to the execution of a plan or purpose, or to the production of any effect; means used or contributing to an effect; applicable to persons or things. Bad men are often instruments of ruin to others. The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion.

3. An artificial machine or body constructed for yielding harmonious sounds; as an organ, a harpsichord, a violin, or flute, &c., which are called musical instruments, or instruments of music.

4. In law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, as a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, &c.; in general, a writing by which some fact is recorded for evidence, or some right conveyed.

5. A person who acts for another, or is employed by another for a special purpose, and if the purpose is dishonorable, the term implies degradation or meanness.



Evolution (or devolution) of this word [instrument]

1828 Webster1844 Webster1913 Webster

IN'STRUMENT, n. [L. instrumentum, from instruo, to prepare; that which is prepared.]

1. A tool; that by which work is performed or any thing is effected; as a knife, a hammer, a saw, a plow, &c. Swords, muskets and cannon are instruments of destruction. A telescope is an astronomical instrument.

2. That which is subservient to the execution of a plan or purpose, or to the production of any effect; means used or contributing to an effect; applicable to persons or things. Bad men are often instruments of ruin to others. The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion.

3. An artificial machine or body constructed for yielding harmonious sounds; as an organ, a harpsichord, a violin, or flute, &c., which are called musical instruments, or instruments of music.

4. In law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, as a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, &c.; in general, a writing by which some fact is recorded for evidence, or some right conveyed.

5. A person who acts for another, or is employed by another for a special purpose, and if the purpose is dishonorable, the term implies degradation or meanness.

IN'STRU-MENT, n. [Fr. from L. instrumentum, from instruo, to prepare; that which is prepared.]

  1. A tool; that by which work is performed, or any thing is effected; as a knife, a hammer, a saw, a plow, &c. Swords, muskets and cannon are instruments of destruction. A telescope is an astronomical instrument.
  2. That which is subservient to the execution of a plan or purpose, or to the production of any effect; means used or contributing to an effect; applicable to persons or things. Bad men are often instruments of ruin to others. The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion.
  3. An artificial machine or body constructed for yielding harmonious sounds; as an organ, a harpsichord, a violin, or flute, &c., which are called musical instruments, or instruments of music.
  4. In law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, as a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, &c.; in general, a writing by which some fact is recorded for evidence, or some right conveyed.
  5. A person who acts for another, or is employed by another for a special purpose, and if the purpose is dishonorable, the term implies degradation or meanness.

In"stru*ment
  1. That by means of which any work is performed, or result is effected; a tool; a utensil; an implement; as, the instruments of a mechanic; astronomical instruments.

    All the lofty instruments of war. Shak.

  2. To perform upon an instrument; to prepare for an instrument; as, a sonata instrumented for orchestra.
  3. A contrivance or implement, by which musical sounds are produced; as, a musical instrument.

    Praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Ps. cl. 4.

    But signs when songs and instruments he hears. Dryden.

  4. A writing, as the means of giving formal expression to some act; a writing expressive of some act, contract, process, as a deed, contract, writ, etc.

    Burrill.
  5. One who, or that which, is made a means, or is caused to serve a purpose; a medium, means, or agent.

    Or useful serving man and instrument,
    To any sovereign state.
    Shak.

    The bold are but the instruments of the wise. Dryden.

    Syn. -- Tool; implement; utensil; machine; apparatus; channel; agent.

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Instrument

IN'STRUMENT, noun [Latin instrumentum, from instruo, to prepare; that which is prepared.]

1. A tool; that by which work is performed or any thing is effected; as a knife, a hammer, a saw, a plow, etc. Swords, muskets and cannon are instruments of destruction. A telescope is an astronomical instrument

2. That which is subservient to the execution of a plan or purpose, or to the production of any effect; means used or contributing to an effect; applicable to persons or things. Bad men are often instruments of ruin to others. The distribution of the Scriptures may be the instrument of a vastly extensive reformation in morals and religion.

3. An artificial machine or body constructed for yielding harmonious sounds; as an organ, a harpsichord, a violin, or flute, etc., which are called musical instruments, or instruments of music.

4. In law, a writing containing the terms of a contract, as a deed of conveyance, a grant, a patent, an indenture, etc.; in general, a writing by which some fact is recorded for evidence, or some right conveyed.

5. A person who acts for another, or is employed by another for a special purpose, and if the purpose is dishonorable, the term implies degradation or meanness.

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Word of the Day

importance

IMPORT'ANCE, n.

1. Weight; consequence; a bearing on some interest; that quality of any thing by which it may affect a measure, interest or result. The education of youth is of great importance to a free government. A religious education is of infinite importance to every human being.

2. Weight or consequence in the scale of being.

Thy own importance know.

Nor bound thy narrow views to things below.

3. Weight or consequence in self-estimation.

He believes himself a man of importance.

4. Thing implied; matter; subject; importunity. [In these senses, obsolete.]

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rhythm

RHYTHM,

Noah's 1828 Dictionary

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Noah Webster, the Father of American Christian education, wrote the first American dictionary and established a system of rules to govern spelling, grammar, and reading. This master linguist understood the power of words, their definitions, and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. Webster used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions.

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1828 Noah Webster Dictionary

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