Definitions of instrumentality

n the quality of being instrumental for some purpose

Type of:
usefulness, utility
the quality of being of practical use

n an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end

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Ark of the Covenant
(Judaism) sacred chest where the ancient Hebrews kept the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments
Holy Grail
(legend) chalice used by Christ at the Last Supper
Labyrinth of Minos
a vast labyrinth built in Crete by Daedalus at the command of Minos in order to contain the Minotaur
Liberty Bell
the bell of Independence Hall; rung 8 July 1776 to announce the signing of the Declaration of Independence
National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations
a computerized data system to provide brokers with price quotations for securities traded over the counter
Pandora's box
(Greek mythology) a box that Zeus gave to Pandora with instructions that she not open it; she gave in to her curiosity and opened it; all the miseries and evils flew out to afflict mankind
King Arthur's Round Table
(legend) the circular table for King Arthur and his knights
either of two Soviet space stations launched in the 1970s
Siege Perilous
the legendary seat at King Arthur's Round Table reserved for the knight who would find the Holy Grail; it was fatal for anyone else to sit in it
United States space station; in orbit from 1973 to 1979
Guided Bomb Unit-28
a 5,000 pound laser-guided bomb that can be programmed to penetrate to a given depth before exploding; used to penetrate hardened underground facilities
the legendary sword of King Arthur
a commercial aquarium featuring trained dolphins
an ironclad vessel built by the Confederate forces in the hope of breaking the blockade imposed by the North
an ironclad vessel built by Federal forces to do battle with the Merrimac
United States military aircraft; B- stands for bomber
Big Ben
clock in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, London
H.M.S. Bounty
a ship of the British navy; in 1789 part of the crew mutinied against their commander William Bligh and set him afloat in an open boat
the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from England to Massachusetts in 1620
USS Cole
a United States destroyer
Old Ironsides
a United States 44-gun frigate that was one of the first three naval ships built by the United States; it won brilliant victories over British frigates during the War of 1812 and is without doubt the most famous ship in the history of the United States Navy; it has been rebuilt and is anchored in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston
Graf Zeppelin
a large rigid dirigible designed to carry passengers or bombs
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an artifact made of hard brittle material produced from nonmetallic minerals by firing at high temperatures
connecter, connection, connective, connector, connexion
an instrumentality that connects
any object that can be used to hold things (especially a large metal boxlike object of standardized dimensions that can be loaded from one form of transport to another)
conveyance, transport
something that serves as a means of transportation
an instrumentality invented for a particular purpose
an instrumentality needed for an undertaking or to perform a service
(usually plural) the instrumentalities (furniture and appliances and other movable accessories including curtains and rugs) that make a home (or other area) livable
hardware, ironware
instrumentalities (tools or implements) made of metal
instrumentation (a piece of equipment or tool) used to effect an end
an instrumentality for accomplishing some end
instrumentality that combines interrelated interacting artifacts designed to work as a coherent entity
toilet articles, toiletry
artifacts used in making your toilet (washing and taking care of your body)
arms, implements of war, munition, weaponry, weapons system
weapons considered collectively
a means or instrumentality for storing or communicating information
acoustic device
a device for amplifying or transmitting sound
adapter, adaptor
device that enables something to be used in a way different from that for which it was intended or makes different pieces of apparatus compatible
a device injects fuel into a hot exhaust for extra thrust
a device that causes material to gather into rounded balls
aerofoil, airfoil, control surface, surface
a device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight
alarm, alarm system, warning device
a device that signals the occurrence of some undesirable event
ammo, ammunition
projectiles to be fired from a gun
an astringent substance applied to the skin to reduce perspiration
apparatus, setup
equipment designed to serve a specific function
appliance, contraption, contrivance, convenience, gadget, gismo, gizmo, widget
a device or control that is very useful for a particular job
applicator, applier
a device for applying a substance
appointment, fitting
(usually plural) furnishings and equipment (especially for a ship or hotel)
weaponry used by military or naval force
aspergill, aspersorium
a short-handled device with a globe containing a sponge; used for sprinkling holy water
attachment, bond
a connection that fastens things together
audio system, sound system
a system of electronic equipment for recording or reproducing sound
equipment used to achieve automatic control or operation
automatic pilot, autopilot, robot pilot
a navigational device that automatically keeps ships or planes or spacecraft on a steady course
the part of a network that connects other networks together
a flexible container with a single opening
bag, handbag, pocketbook, purse
a container used for carrying money and small personal items or accessories (especially by women)
bait, decoy, lure
something used to lure fish or other animals into danger so they can be trapped or killed
a rigid piece of metal or wood; usually used as a fastening or obstruction or weapon
basket, handbasket
a container that is usually woven and has handles
bath oil
a scented oil added to your bath water
bath salts
a preparation that softens or scents a bath
an implement for beating
billiard marker
a device for keeping the score in a game of billiards
a container; usually has a lid
bird feeder, birdfeeder, feeder
an outdoor device that supplies food for wild birds
a device that produces a current of air
an explosive device fused to explode under specific conditions
has V-shaped notch for pulling off boots
bowl, pipe bowl
a small round container that is open at the top for holding tobacco
a (usually rectangular) container; may have a lid
bread-bin, breadbox
a container used to keep bread or cake in
breathalyser, breathalyzer
a device that measures chemicals (especially the alcohol content) in a person's expired breath
breathing apparatus, breathing device, breathing machine, ventilator
a device that facilitates breathing in cases of respiratory failure
rectangular block of clay baked by the sun or in a kiln; used as a building or paving material
an implement that has hairs or bristles firmly set into a handle
any of various devices in which air or some other gas is bubbled through a liquid
buff, buffer
an implement consisting of soft material mounted on a block; used for polishing (as in manicuring)
buffer, fender
a cushion-like device that reduces shock due to an impact
a large container for storing fuel
can, tin, tin can
airtight sealed metal container for food or drink or paint etc.
an implement with a small cup at the end of a handle; used to extinguish the flame of a candle
canister, cannister, tin
metal container for storing dry foods such as tea or flour
a small container
cargo container
a large container for freight
a portable container for carrying several objects
case, display case, showcase, vitrine
a glass container used to store and display items in a shop or museum or home
a container that holds a magnetic tape used for recording or playing sound or video
catapult, launcher
a device that launches aircraft from a warship
battery charger, charger
a device for charging or recharging batteries
cleaning device, cleaning equipment, cleaning implement
any of a large class of implements used for cleaning
a device (as an earring, sunglasses, microphone etc.) that is attached by clips
a flat device with narrow pointed teeth on one edge; disentangles or arranges hair
baby's dummy, comforter, pacifier, teething ring
device used for an infant to suck or bite on
communication system
a system for communicating
ADP system, ADPS, automatic data processing system, computer system, computing system
a system of one or more computers and associated software with common storage
a device designed to transmit electricity, heat, etc.
(physics) a system designed to prevent the accidental release of radioactive material from a reactor
birth control device, contraceptive, contraceptive device, preventative, preventive, prophylactic device
an agent or device intended to prevent conception
control system
a system for controlling the operation of another system
converter, convertor
a device for changing one substance or form or state into another
cooling system, engine cooling system
equipment in a motor vehicle that cools the engine
a device for removing the core from apples
corrective, restorative
a device for treating injury or disease
a toiletry designed to beautify the body
cream, emollient, ointment
toiletry consisting of any of various substances in the form of a thick liquid that have a soothing and moisturizing effect when applied to the skin
a device that crushes something
a device for deciphering codes and ciphers
a small open container usually used for drinking; usually has a handle
curtain, drape, drapery, mantle, pall
hanging cloth used as a blind (especially for a window)
a device that terminates the flow in a pipe
a cylindrical container for oxygen or compressed air
dampener, moistener
a device that dampens or moistens something
damper, muffler
a device that decreases the amplitude of electronic, mechanical, acoustical, or aerodynamic oscillations
data system, information system
system consisting of the network of all communication channels used within an organization
defence system, defense system
the weaponry available for the defense of a region
a device intended to turn aside the flow of something (water or air or smoke etc)
dental appliance
a device to repair teeth or replace missing teeth
deodorant, deodourant
a toiletry applied to the skin in order to mask unpleasant odors
a device used by physician to press a part down or aside
detector, sensing element, sensor
any device that receives a signal or stimulus (as heat or pressure or light or motion etc.) and responds to it in a distinctive manner
dice box, dice cup
a small container (open at one end) in which dice are shaken by hand and from which they are thrown
a device that holds the dies that cut external threads on metal cylinders
a piece of dishware normally used as a container for holding or serving food
a container so designed that the contents can be used in prescribed amounts
conveyance consisting of a wheeled platform for moving heavy objects
conveyance consisting of a wheeled support on which a camera can be mounted
drainage system
a system of watercourses or drains for carrying off excess water
a boxlike container in a piece of furniture; made so as to slide in and out
(computer science) a device that writes data onto or reads data from a storage medium
drop forge, drop hammer, drop press
device for making large forgings
a container designed to receive and transport and dump waste
elastic device
any flexible device that will return to its original shape when stretched
electrical device
a device that produces or is powered by electricity
electrical system
equipment in a motor vehicle that provides electricity to start the engine and ignite the fuel and operate the lights and windshield wiper and heater and air conditioner and radio
electronic device
a device that accomplishes its purpose electronically
electronic equipment
equipment that involves the controlled conduction of electrons (especially in a gas or vacuum or semiconductor)
a container that has been emptied
energiser, energizer
a device that supplies electrical energy
a flat (usually rectangular) container for a letter, thin package, etc.
an implement used to erase something
exercise device
a device designed to provide exercise for the user
exhaust, exhaust system
system consisting of the parts of an engine through which burned gases or steam are discharged
EDS, explosive detection system
a rapid automatic system to detect plastic explosives in passengers' luggage using X-ray technology and computers; designed for use in airports
explosive device
device that bursts with sudden violence from internal energy
ETD, explosive trace detection
a system for screening luggage in airports; an agent passes a swab around or inside luggage and then runs the swab through a machine that can detect trace amounts of explosives
a device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces
device that removes something from whatever passes through it
asphyxiator, extinguisher, fire extinguisher
a manually operated device for extinguishing small fires
fire iron
metal fireside implements
an implement consisting of handle with a free swinging stick at the end; used in manual threshing
a device that produces a bright light for warning or illumination or identification
fuel system
equipment in a motor vehicle or aircraft that delivers fuel to the engine
a device that generates a gas for the purpose of disinfecting or eradicating pests
article of furniture, furniture, piece of furniture
furnishings that make a room or other area ready for occupancy
game equipment
equipment or apparatus used in playing a game
gas fixture
a device to convey illuminating gas from the pipe to the gas burner
appurtenance, gear, paraphernalia
equipment consisting of miscellaneous articles needed for a particular operation or sport etc.
drinking glass, glass
a container for holding liquids while drinking
grab bag
a container from which a person draws a wrapped item at random without knowing the contents
a device that makes grooves by cutting or punching
earth, ground
a connection between an electrical device and a large conducting body, such as the earth (which is taken to be at zero voltage)
guard, safety, safety device
a device designed to prevent injury or accidents
guidance device, guidance system
a system of equipment for automatically guiding the path of a vehicle (especially a missile)
guns collectively
hair grease, hair oil, hair tonic, hairdressing
a toiletry for the hair
hair spray
toiletry consisting of a commercial preparation that is sprayed on the hair to hold it in place
major items of military weaponry (as tanks or missile)
heater, warmer
device that heats water or supplies warmth to a room
heat exchanger
device that transfers heat from one liquid to another without allowing them to mix
a connection between a vehicle and the load that it pulls
holding device
a device for holding something
a curved or bent implement for suspending or pulling something
assemblage, hookup
a system of components assembled together for a particular purpose
a device providing a connection between a power source and a user
a device having the shape of a horn
a conveyance (railroad car or trailer) for transporting racehorses
foil, hydrofoil
a device consisting of a flat or curved piece (as a metal plate) so that its surface reacts to the water it is passing through
a device produced by pressure on a surface
a device for showing the operating condition of some system
inertial guidance system, inertial navigation system
a system to control a plane or spacecraft; uses inertial forces
a device that requires skill for proper use
ignition interlock, interlock
a device that prevents an automotive engine from starting
a device for automatically interrupting an electric current
branding iron, iron
implement used to brand live stock
a device that holds a piece of machine work and guides the tools operating on it
a small connector used to make temporary electrical connections
conjunction, junction
something that joins or connects
metal device shaped in such a way that when it is inserted into the appropriate lock the lock's mechanism can be rotated
device consisting of a set of keys on a piano or organ or typewriter or typesetting machine or computer or the like
a device invented by Edison that gave an impression of movement as an endless loop of film moved continuously over a light source with a rapid shutter; precursor of the modern motion picture
doorknocker, knocker, rapper
a device (usually metal and ornamental) attached by a hinge to a door
leather strip
implement consisting of a strip of leather
life support, life-support system
medical equipment that assists or replaces important bodily functions and so enables a patient to live who otherwise might not survive
life support, life-support system
equipment that makes life possible in otherwise deadly environmental conditions
a device worn in a shoe or boot to make the wearer look taller or to correct a shortened leg
lifting device
a device for lifting heavy loads
igniter, ignitor, light, lighter
a device for lighting or igniting fuel or charges or fires
conveyance consisting of a chair or bed carried on two poles by bearers
a system of locks in a canal or waterway
any of various cosmetic preparations that are applied to the skin
any mechanical or electrical device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of human tasks
(physics) a device that attracts iron and produces a magnetic field
magnetic bottle
container consisting of any configuration of magnetic fields used to contain a plasma during controlled thermonuclear reactions
a conveyance that transports the letters and packages that are conveyed by the postal system
a container for something to be mailed
manger, trough
a container (usually in a barn or stable) from which cattle or horses feed
things needed for doing or making something
equipage, materiel
equipment and supplies of a military force
labyrinth, maze
complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost
a container of some standard capacity that is used to obtain fixed amounts of a substance
mechanical system
a system of elements that interact on mechanical principles
device consisting of a piece of machinery; has moving parts that perform some function
memory device, storage device
a device that preserves information for retrieval
cast, mold, mould
container into which liquid is poured to create a given shape when it hardens
hair gel, hair mousse, mousse
toiletry consisting of an aerosol foam used in hair styling
instrument, musical instrument
any of various devices or contrivances that can be used to produce musical tones or sounds
navigational system
a system that provides information useful in determining the position and course of a ship or aircraft
naval equipment
equipment for a navy
naval weaponry
weaponry for warships
a sharp pointed implement (usually steel)
nest egg
device consisting of an artificial egg left in a nest to induce hens to lay their eggs in it
electronic network, network
(electronics) a system of interconnected electronic components or circuits
a system of intersecting lines or channels
a device (such as a clapper or bell or horn) used to make a loud noise at a celebration
an implement used to propel or steer a boat
optical device
a device for producing or controlling light
a manually operated device to correct the operation of an automatic device
package, parcel
a wrapped container
shallow container made of metal
paper feed
a device for inserting sheets of paper into a printer or typewriter
a device for peeling vegetables or fruits
essence, perfume
a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor
photographic equipment
equipment used by a photographer
pick, plectron, plectrum
a small thin device (of metal or plastic or ivory) used to pluck a stringed instrument
fuel pod, pod
a detachable container of fuel on an airplane
flowerpot, pot
a container in which plants are cultivated
any of various cosmetic or medical preparations dispensed in the form of a pulverized powder
powder flask, powder horn
container for carrying gunpowder; made of the hollow horn of an animal
PTO, power takeoff
a device that transfers power from an engine (as in a tractor or other motor vehicle) to another piece of equipment (as to a pump or jackhammer)
goad, prod
a pointed instrument that is used to prod into a state of motion
autocue, prompter
a device that displays words for people to read
propulsion system
a system that provides a propelling or driving force
public transport
conveyance for passengers or mail or freight
a device used for pulling something
radiotherapy equipment
equipment used to treat diseases with x-rays or radioactivity
a container that is used to put or keep things in
recorder, recording equipment, recording machine
equipment for making records
device that reflects radiation
button, release
a device that when pressed will release part of a mechanism
a container where religious relics are stored or displayed (especially relics of saints)
remote, remote control
a device that can be used to control a machine or apparatus from a distance
rescue equipment
equipment used to rescue passengers in case of emergency
device for resetting instruments or controls
any system that resonates
constraint, restraint
a device that retards something's motion
robotics equipment
equipment used in robotics
a long thin implement made of metal or wood
roll-on roll-off
a method of transport (as a ferry or train or plane) that vehicles roll onto at the beginning and roll off of at the destination
(computer science) a device that forwards data packets between computer networks
carpet, carpeting, rug
floor covering consisting of a piece of thick heavy fabric (usually with nap or pile)
device consisting of the parts on which something can slide along
a small container for holding salt at the dining table
artificial satellite, orbiter, satellite
man-made equipment that orbits around the earth or the moon
bank, coin bank, money box, savings bank
a container (usually with a slot in the top) for keeping money at home
scaffolding, staging
a system of scaffolds
a device used for scratching
coal scuttle, scuttle
container for coal; shaped to permit pouring the coal onto the fire
security system
(computing) a system that enforces boundaries between computer networks
selsyn, synchro
a system consisting of a generator and a motor so connected that the motor will assume the same relative position as the generator; the generator and the motor are synchronized
a container in which something can be shaken
any implement that is used to make something (an edge or a point) sharper
shaving cream, shaving soap
toiletry consisting of a preparation of soap and fatty acids that forms a rich lather for softening the beard before shaving
shaving foam
toiletry consisting of a liquid preparation containing many small bubbles that soften the beard before shaving
shipboard system
a system designed to work as a coherent entity on board a naval ship
cargo ships, merchant marine, merchant vessels, shipping
conveyance provided by the ships belonging to one country or industry
a device used for easing the foot into a shoe
a wooden or metal device that is inserted into a shoe to preserve its shape when it is not being worn
shooting stick
device that resembles a spiked walking stick but the top opens into a seat
a device that shreds documents (usually in order to prevent the wrong people from reading them)
conveyance consisting of a small carrier attached to the side of a motorcycle
signaling device
a device used to send signals
lift, ski lift, ski tow
a powered conveyance that carries skiers up a hill
slip ring
connection consisting of a metal ring on a rotating part of a machine; provides a continuous electrical connection through brushes on stationary contacts
a device to help you walk on deep snow; a lightweight frame shaped like a racquet is strengthened with cross pieces and contains a network of thongs; one is worn on each foot
a cone-shaped implement with a handle; for extinguishing candles
solar thermal system
a system that converts sunlight into heat
a device for making soundings
source of illumination
any device serving as a source of visible electromagnetic radiation
fishgig, fizgig, gig, lance, spear
an implement with a shaft and barbed point used for catching fish
a long, thin sharp-pointed implement (wood or metal)
a piece of cutlery with a shallow bowl-shaped container and a handle; used to stir or serve or take up food
sports equipment
equipment needed to participate in a particular sport
sports implement
an implement used in a sport
sprinkler system
a system for extinguishing fires; water from a network of overhead pipes is released through nozzles that open automatically with the rise in temperature
stabiliser, stabilizer
a device for making something stable
a device for removing stems from fruit (as from grapes or apples)
an implement consisting of a length of wood
a long thin implement resembling a length of wood
an implement used for stirring
any equipment constantly used as part of a profession or occupation
storage ring
container consisting of a set of magnets set in a doughnut-shaped ring around which charged particles from an accelerator can be kept circulating until they are used
a device for straightening
reinforcement, strengthener
a device designed to provide additional strength
a tool or rod used to level off grain or other granular material that is heaped in a measure
a sharp pointed device attached to the cartridge of a record player
suction cup
a cup-shaped device (made of rubber, glass, or plastic) that produces a partial vacuum; used to adhere or draw something to a surface
any device that bears the weight of another thing
implement consisting of a small piece of cotton that is used to apply medication or cleanse a wound or obtain a specimen of a secretion
flyswat, flyswatter, swatter
an implement with a flat part (of mesh or plastic) and a long handle; used to kill insects
a device that causes tobacco leaves or fruit or hides to sweat
a device used in photography to synchronize the peak of a flash with the opening of the camera shutter
an automotive system for shifting gears in which the gears revolve at the same speed and so shift smoothly
any of various devices for reducing slack (as in a sewing machine) or taking up motion (as in a loom)
teaching aid
materials and equipment used in teaching
a device for teasing wool
line, phone line, subscriber line, telephone circuit, telephone line
a telephone connection
telfer, telpher
one of the conveyances (or cars) in a telpherage
patch, temporary hookup
a connection intended to be used for a limited time
test equipment
equipment required to perform a test
a small metal cap to protect the finger while sewing; can be used as a small container
dart thrower, spear thrower, throwing board, throwing stick
a device resembling a sling that is used in various primitive societies to propel a dart or spear
a device for emptying a cask by tilting it without disturbing the dregs
time capsule
container for preserving historical records to be discovered at some future time
pair of tongs, tongs
any of various devices for taking hold of objects; usually have two hinged legs with handles above and pointed hooks below
an implement used in the practice of a vocation
small brush; has long handle; used to clean teeth
a device regarded as providing amusement
a large transport conveyance designed to be pulled by a truck or tractor
aerial tramway, cable tramway, ropeway, tram, tramway
a conveyance that transports passengers or freight in carriers suspended from cables and supported by a series of towers
a device in which something (usually an animal) can be caught and penned
a device that activates or releases or causes something to happen
tuning fork
a metal implement with two prongs that gives a fixed tone when struck; used to tune musical instruments
an implement for practical use (especially in a household)
device in a brass wind instrument for varying the length of the air column to alter the pitch of a tone
vaporiser, vaporizer
a device that puts out a substance in the form of a vapor (especially for medicinal inhalation)
a conveyance that transports people or objects
a device (such as a fan) that introduces fresh air or expels foul air
an object used as a container (especially for liquids)
device consisting of a corrugated surface to scrub clothes on
circular file, waste basket, waste-paper basket, wastebasket, wastepaper basket
a container with an open top; for discarded paper and other rubbish
water cooler
a device for cooling and dispensing drinking water
watering can, watering pot
a container with a handle and a spout with a perforated nozzle; used to sprinkle water over plants
wheeled vehicle
a vehicle that moves on wheels and usually has a container for transporting things or people
workbag, workbasket, workbox
container for holding implements and materials for work (especially for sewing)
writing implement
an implement that is used to write
coupling, yoke
a connection (like a clamp or vise) between two things so they move together
a medium for the expression or achievement of something
a medium for written communication
celluloid, cinema, film
a medium that disseminates moving pictures
print media
a medium that disseminates printed matter
data-storage medium, storage medium
a medium for storing information
telecom, telecommunication
(often plural) systems used in transmitting messages over a distance electronically
album, record album
one or more recordings issued together; originally released on 12-inch phonograph records (usually with attractive record covers) and later on cassette audiotape and compact disc
Type of:
artefact, artifact
a man-made object taken as a whole

n a subsidiary organ of government created for a special purpose

“are the judicial instrumentalities of local governments adequate?”
“he studied the French instrumentalities for law enforcement”
Type of:
social unit, unit
an organization regarded as part of a larger social group

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