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instrumentality

Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The state or quality of being instrumental.
  • noun A means; an agency.
  • noun A subsidiary branch, as of a government, by means of which functions or policies are carried out.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The state or character of being instrumental; subordinate or auxiliary agency; agency of anything as means to an end.
  • noun An instrumental means or agency; something serving as an instrument; as, preaching is the great instrumentality in the spread of religion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The quality or condition of being instrumental; that which is instrumental; anything used as a means; medium; agency.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable The quality or condition of being instrumental; serving a purpose, being useful.
  • noun countable (law) A governmental organ with a specific purpose.
  • noun countable Something that is instrumental; an instrument

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a subsidiary organ of government created for a special purpose
  • noun an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end
  • noun the quality of being instrumental for some purpose

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From instrumental +‎ -ity.

Examples

  • So in the quickening of the dead to spiritual life, human instrumentality is employed first to prepare the way, and then to turn it to account.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Yes, the notion of instrumentality is handled differently in Slavic languages.

    On instruments

  • He was able to communicate with Jehovah himself, and the simple instrument that he used was one that is always in vogue with the human race, that is, the instrumentality of prayer.

    The United States—Its General Atmosphere and Conditions

  • Mr. Samantar, who now lives in Fairfax, Va., contends that because he was prime minister or defense minister from 1980 until the Somali regime's 1991 collapse, he was an "instrumentality" of government and thus immune from liability.

    High Court Addresses Foreigners' Immunity

  • Unconstrained by, indeed necessarily opposed to, any normative set of ends or social frameworks, classical liberalism's model of individual, competitive agency understands its flourishing to be premised on the absence of external constraints and obligations and on its positively merging utilitarianism's notions of "instrumentality" and "efficiency."

    The Melancholic Gift: Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy and Fiction

  • The so-called norms of the market, such as instrumentality and fungibility, come in varying degrees and characterize not only market, but also nonmarket, relationships, including friendship.

    Friendship and Complex Interdependencies in Markets

  • The so-called norms of the market, such as instrumentality and fungibility, come in varying degrees and characterize not only market, but also nonmarket, relationships, including friendship.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • This meant a motor vehicle constituted an "instrumentality" of the offences of driving under the influence of liquor and could thus be forfeited to the state in terms of the Act. However, the Bloemfontein court also held a vehicle driven in these conditions was not liable to forfeiture in every case.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • The word "instrumentality" does not appear in this context in the Belgian report.

    Lumumba and the UN

  • That was the setting-in of a new current for his ambition, directing his prospects of "instrumentality" towards the uniting of distinguished religious gifts with successful business.

    Middlemarch: a study of provincial life (1900)

Comments

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  • The Instrumentality of Mankind appears in Cordwainer Smith's stories.

    'It is the pride of the Instrumentality that the Instrumentality allows its officers to commit crimes or mistakes or suicide. The Instrumentality does the things for mankind that a computer can not do. The Instrumentality leaves the human brain, the human choice in action.'

    December 4, 2007