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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Instrumentality \In`stru*men*tal"i*ty\, n.; pl. Instrumentalities. The quality or condition of being instrumental; that which is instrumental; anything used as a means; medium; agency.

The instrumentality of faith in justification.
--Bp. Burnet.

The discovery of gunpowder developed the science of attack and defense in a new instrumentality.
--J. H. Newman.


n. 1 (context uncountable English) The quality or condition of being instrumental; serving a purpose, being useful. 2 (context countable legal English) A governmental organ with a specific purpose. 3 (context countable English) Something that is instrumental; an instrument

  1. 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"

  2. the quality of being instrumental for some purpose

  3. an artifact (or system of artifacts) that is instrumental in accomplishing some end [syn: instrumentation]


Instrumentality can refer to any of the following:

  • The quality or condition of being instrumental
  • The theory of Instrumentalism in the philosophy of science
  • The philosophical concept of Instrumental rationality
  • The science fiction book series Instrumentality of Mankind by Cordwainer Smith
  • The Human Instrumentality Project from the Neon Genesis Evangelion anime series.
Instrumentality (theology)

Instrumentality is a theological theory that falls under the broader category of the prophetic model of biblical inspiration. Those who espouse the prophetic model consider the writers of all the books of the bible to have been inspired in the same way as prophets have been inspired by God to preach. This makes sense given that the vocation of the prophet and the vocation of the writer of Holy Scripture is more or less the same; they are called to communicate the message of God to a community that is in need of hearing it. Though, as Reginald-Garigou Lagrange, O.P. notes, a prophet can act based on direct revelation from God or from inspiration. The latter is what is relevant when it comes to biblical interpretation. This model of biblical inspiration played a dominant role in the Early Church and was fully and systematically explained by medieval theologians like St. Thomas Aquinas. Thomas discusses prophesy in Questions 171-174 of the Second Part of the Second Part of the Summa Theologica. Thomas uses earlier theologians, namely St. Augustine and Pope St. Gregory the Great, to support his argument. Jewish theologians such as Moses Maimonides also defended this model.

Usage examples of "instrumentality".

I could not walk down the street, or take part in ordinary duty or pleasure without being reminded of the dear dead Jane, and of the pleasant aftertime we had dreamed of when she should be restored through my instrumentality to her old quiet home and a life of peace, in which, shielded from every evil, she might devote her days to good deeds and repentance.

Inasmuch as most large concerns prosecute both an interstate and a domestic business, while the instrumentalities of interstate commerce and the pecuniary returns from such commerce are ordinarily property within the jurisdiction of some State or other, the task before the Court in drawing the line between the immunity claimed by interstate business on the one hand and the prerogatives claimed by local power on the other has at times involved it in self-contradiction, as successive developments have brought into prominence novel aspects of its complex problem or have altered the perspective in which the interests competing for its protection have appeared.

Jesuit should interfere and try to make my friends do anything otherwise than through my instrumentality, and I wanted that intriguer to know that my influence was greater than his own.

Instrumentality and to comply with orders subsequently to be issued by the envoy hereinbefore indicated.

Today the principle of tax exemption, except so far as Congress may choose to apply it to federal instrumentalities by virtue of its protective powers under the necessary and proper clause, is at an end.

Old North Australia produced the wealth, Earth still distributed much of it, and that the supergovernment of the Instrumentality reached into far places where no Norstrilian would even wish to venture.

Taking the inventory in my hand, I pointed out every article marked down, except when the said article, having through my instrumentality taken an airing out of the house, happened to be missing, and whenever any article was absent I said that I had not the slightest idea where it might be.

But he was liable to intercurrent fits of jealousy and rage, such as the light-hued races are hardly capable of conceiving, blinding paroxysms of passion, which for the time overmastered him, and which, if they found no ready outlet, transformed themselves into the more dangerous forces that worked through the instrumentality of his cool craftiness.

The Instrumentality has by now taken good pains that the Arachosians will never find us again, has flung networks of deception out along the edge of the galaxy to make sure that those lost ruined people cannot find us.

The Instrumentality knows and guards our world and all the other worlds of mankind against the deformity which has become Arachosia.

Cornelius was commissioned to select the city and territory for them, where he thought best, and 400 jugera in the same district were also decreed as a gift to Belligenes through whose instrumentality Moericus had been induced to change sides.

On the one hand, the technologies already formed exerted pressure on the existing culture and, to some extent, inclined people to subordinate themselves adaptively to the needs of the instrumentalities set in motion.

Along the port bulkhead were peripheral screens, tech stations, and banks of sophisticated instrumentality, with a great Medusa's head of cables, feeders, and power relays running floor to ceiling.

In fact, you have put in a reservation to buy it, unless the Instrumentality outbids you.

Three segmented metal appendages, like huge blind worms, extruded themselves from the underside of the flagship and met, their completed instrumentality throwing out a light as bright as a solar prominence.