Definition of instrumentality in English:



mass noun
  • 1The fact or quality of serving as an instrument or means to an end; agency.

    ‘a corporate body can act only through the instrumentality of human beings’
    • ‘The most important secondary consequence was the spread of instrumentality beyond the hand and the body.’
    • ‘The modelling of all human behaviour on the contractualism and instrumentality of the market corrodes any politics of solidarity and citizenship.’
    • ‘Uniform, along with the cogneries of military discipline procedures, should not be seen only in terms of docility and repression, or ideological instrumentality.’
    • ‘I first became aware of the political instrumentality of religion when manoeuvred into Anglican Confirmation by paternal pressure.’
    • ‘At the heart of all of them, I would argue, is the idea of instrumentality: a thing, unlike a person, is an instrument or means to the ends of persons; it is not an end in itself.’
    • ‘Because we emphasise instrumentality rather than ‘that which God does’, it might well be that the Almighty has already left us alone to discover our helplessness.’
    • ‘In addition, this simple cognitive comparison model is based on an integration of information concerning the valance, instrumentality, and expectancy of outcomes.’
    • ‘These differences, however, remain interesting findings in that they can help explain possible current conflicts between the young and old with regard to permissiveness or instrumentality.’
    • ‘There seems to be two standard ways of realising the hidden instrumentality of a building and both seem to involve or at least portend its destruction: there is a natural and a supernatural way of going about it.’
    • ‘That vision of a European ideal, despite its many faults, sought to construct a project based on assumptions of progress and instrumentality.’
    • ‘The focus on instrumentality enables existential warriors to defeat stronger instrumental Western armies such as those of Vietnam and Afghanistan.’
    • ‘Social research continues to emphasize the instrumentality of capitalism in producing these conditions.’
    • ‘A real and abiding concern for the dignity of human life postulates resistance to taking life through law's instrumentality.’
    • ‘Certainly Heidegger critiques technology's instrumentality as marking the commencement of modernity as calculable, defined, measurable, ordered.’
    • ‘Literalizing the form's political instrumentality, Chesnutt stages the first of the novel's two cakewalks as light entertainment for a group of northern investors.’
    • ‘In this view, the value of pursuing knowledge and learning rests in their anticipated instrumentality and usefulness in obtaining other goods.’
    • ‘The cabbies are an exploited immigrant labor pool, perpetually in motion as they fulfill their instrumentality as a means of transporting white subjects from work to home, and from home to work and play.’
    • ‘That groundedness is why art and design programs are becoming a model for liberal arts education, which has historically tried to remove itself from any instrumentality.’
    • ‘Rather, a masculinist workplace culture that rewards long hours and values competitiveness, individualism and instrumentality excludes those people that want a life outside work, whatever their gender.’
    • ‘The concepts of both realism and instrumentality are tricky ones when it comes to moving from sixteenth-century Germany to late-twentieth-century North America.’
    means of communication, means of expression, mode of expression, means, method, way, form, agency, channel, forum
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun A thing which serves as a means to an end.
      • ‘The chief instrumentality of this sweeping program would be a league of nations.’
      • ‘The particular instrumentality for this cultural upheaval was the computer, in all its manifestations, and the various networks to which the computer could be linked, prime among them the Internet.’
      • ‘And the instrumentality, Larry, is going to be very important.’
      • ‘The only question is whether probable cause exists that somewhere on the property some evidence of the crime, contraband, instrumentality, or a fruit of the crime will be discovered.’
      • ‘The only instrumentality to be used is the Word of God, bringing the soul into contact with it by reading, preaching, singing, the sacraments, and the exercise of discipline.’
      • ‘It's no secret that war means big business for defense contractors - particularly the ones who provide instrumentalities of warfare like bullets, armor, bombs and missiles.’
      • ‘Democracy was imperiled when those instrumentalities failed.’
      • ‘For example, in the United States banks have been found liable on various bases, including the so-called instrumentality theory - they have controlled and dominated a borrower and it has become their mere instrumentality.’
      • ‘In contrast, a federal research facility is ‘each department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States which uses live animals for research or experimentation.’’
      • ‘As the federal government says, ‘It should be noted that the business to be obtained or retained does not need to be with a foreign government or foreign government instrumentality.’’
      • ‘Those political formations, which toned down their public opposition to accession, without altering their fundamental ideograph, were seen as possible instrumentalities to counter pan-Islamism and secessionism.’
      • ‘And what you've got in the Philippines is a pattern of islands, of small islands and you know, it could go on - you have to attack targets with whatever instrumentalities you have.’
      • ‘Shiite leaders are planning a congress that can establish the instrumentalities for creating the region of ‘Sumer’ in the south, which will consist of 3 consolidated provinces.’
      • ‘For the government of each such country, the President is to seek to determine the precise agency or instrumentality and the specific officials that are responsible for the particularly severe violations.’
      • ‘There is definitely nothing entirely ‘new’ about a group of almost exclusively white, European or American men inventing new applications that extend and enhance the instrumentalities of technology.’
      • ‘But the modes of doing so are changing with the current technological and institutional developments and our historical habits are increasingly at odds with the contemporary exigencies, instrumentalities and methodologies.’
      • ‘Hence, the Spirit appropriates the ‘old, old story of Jesus and his love’ as the divinely chosen instrumentality in calling people into the family of God and in leading them to view all of life from the perspective of that story.’
      • ‘We need more effective strategies to tackle the problem of poaching and smuggling, but as to the precise instrumentalities, I will await for the report of the taskforce on tigers which I have set.’
      • ‘To return to public broadcasting, which Flint lets off with a slap on the wrist: many of us perceive a tragic decline in that instrumentality.’
      • ‘Yet this insecure dictator remains the world's most critical, indeed, ‘indispensable’, instrumentality in the war against terror, and for the stabilisation of the wider region around South Asia!’