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A formal or legal written document; a document in writing, such as a deed, lease, bond, contract, or will. A writing that serves as evidence of an individual's right to collect money, such as a check.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. 1) a written legal document such as a contract, lease, deed, will or bond. 2) an object used to perform some task or action, ranging from a surgeon's scalpel to any hard thing used in an assault (a blunt instrument).

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


a written legal document. See also NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

INSTRUMENT, contracts. The writing which contains some agreement, and is so called because it has been prepared as a memorial of what has taken place or been agreed upon. The agreement and the instrument in which it is contained are very different things, the latter being only evidence of the existence of the former. The instrument or form of the contract may be valid, but the contract itself may be void on account of fraud. Vide Ayl. Parerg. 305; Dunl. Ad. Pr. 220.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Then show the video "How Plastic Instruments Work," available at
Less successful are two latecomers to the guitar game craze that began in 2005 with "Guitar Hero." Both try to eliminate the need to buy fake plastic instruments; instead, you use the Wii controller to simulate holding a guitar or beating on drums.
Now a collection of 30 of the plastic instruments have been taken to Kampala, in Uganda.
Broadcasters, players and TV viewers have complained about the deafening drone of the plastic instruments. They can generate a noise of up to 144 decibels inside stadiums.
Plastic instruments are warrantied to be defect free for 50 sterilizations.
Hospitals across Scotland have been told to replace their surgical tools with disposable plastic instruments which will be used once.
And they go into grim detail about why plastic instruments should be used.