AskDefine | Define equipment

Dictionary Definition

equipment n : an instrumentality needed for an undertaking or to perform a service

User Contributed Dictionary



  • IPA: /ɪ'kwɪpmənt/


equipment (uncountable)
  1. The act of equipping, or the state of being equipped, as for a voyage or expedition.
    • The equipment of the fleet was hastened by De Witt. Hume.
  2. Whatever is used in equipping; necessaries for an expedition or voyage; the collective designation for the articles comprising an outfit; equipage; as, a railroad equipment (locomotives, cars, etc.; for carrying on business); horse equipment; infantry equipment; naval equipment; laboratory equipment.
    • Armed and dight, In the equipment of a knight. Longfellow.


the act of equipping
  • Czech: vybavení
  • Finnish: varustaminen
  • German: Ausrüstung
  • Turkish: ekipman
whatever is used in equipping
translations to be checked

Related terms

Extensive Definition

A tool is a device or a piece of equipment that typically provides a mechanical advantage in accomplishing a task or enables the accomplishment of a task not otherwise possible. The most basic tools are simple machines. For example, a crowbar simply functions as a lever. The further out from the pivot point, the more force is transmitted along the lever. When particularly intended for domestic use, a tool is often called a utensil.
Observation has confirmed that multiple species can use tools, including monkeys, apes, several birds, sea otters, and others. Philosophers originally thought that only humans had the ability to make tools, until zoologists observed birds and monkeys making tools. Now humans' unique relationship to tools is considered to be that we are the only species that uses tools to make other tools.
Most anthropologists believe that the use of tools was an important step in the evolution of mankind. Humans evolved an opposable thumb - useful in holding tools - and increased dramatically in intelligence, which aided in the use of tools.


Protective gear are not tools because they do not directly help perform work, just protect the worker like ordinary clothing. Personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, ear defenders and biohazard suits.

Tool substitution

Often, by design or coincidence, a tool may share key functional attributes with one or more other tools. In this case, some tools can substitute for other tools, either as a make-shift solution or as a matter of practical efficiency. "One tool does it all" is a motto of some importance for workers who cannot practically carry every specialized tool to the location of every work task. Tool substitution may be divided broadly into two classes: substitution "by-design", or "multi-purpose" use, and substitution as make-shift. In many cases, the designed secondary functions of tools are not widely known. As an example of the former, many wood-cutting hand saws integrate a carpenter's square by incorporating a specially shaped handle which allows 90° and 45° angles to be marked by aligning the appropriate part of the handle with an edge and scribing along the back edge of the saw. The latter is illustrated by the saying "All tools can be used as hammers." Nearly all tools can be re purposed to function as a hammer, even though very few tools are intentionally designed for it.

Multi-use tools

  • A Multitool is a hand tool that incorporates several tools into a single, portable device.
  • Lineman's pliers incorporate a gripper and cutter, and are often used secondarily as a hammer.
  • Hand saws often incorporate the functionality of the carpenter's square in the right-angle between the blade's dull edge and the saw's handle.


Evidence of stone tool manufacture and use dates from the start of the Stone Age, though it is possible that earlier tools of less durable material have not survived. Stone tools found in China magnetostratigraphically date back to approximately 1.36 million years ago. The transition from stone to metal tools roughly coincided with the development of agriculture around the 4th millennium BC.
Mechanical devices experienced a major expansion in their use in the Middle Ages with the systematic employment of new energy sources: water (waterwheels) and wind (windmills).
Machine tools occasioned a surge in producing new tools in the industrial revolution. Advocates of nanotechnology expect a similar surge as tools become microscopic in size.


equipment in Azerbaijani: Alət
equipment in Min Nan: Ke-si
equipment in Bosnian: Alat
equipment in Catalan: Eina (utensili)
equipment in Czech: Nástroj
equipment in Danish: Værktøj
equipment in German: Werkzeug
equipment in Estonian: Tööriist
equipment in Modern Greek (1453-): Εργαλείο
equipment in Spanish: Herramienta
equipment in Esperanto: Laborilo
equipment in Basque: Tresna
equipment in French: Outil
equipment in Scottish Gaelic: Acfhainn
equipment in Korean: 도구
equipment in Croatian: Alat
equipment in Ido: Utensilo
equipment in Icelandic: Verkfæri
equipment in Italian: Utensile
equipment in Hebrew: כלי
equipment in Latvian: Darbarīks
equipment in Limburgan: Gereidsjap
equipment in Hungarian: Szerszám
equipment in Dutch: Gereedschap
equipment in Dutch Low Saxon: Raaive
equipment in Japanese: 道具
equipment in Norwegian: Redskap
equipment in Norwegian Nynorsk: Reiskap
equipment in Narom: Ôti
equipment in Polish: Narzędzie
equipment in Portuguese: Ferramenta
equipment in Quechua: Irraminta
equipment in Russian: Инструмент
equipment in Sicilian: Arnisi
equipment in Simple English: Tool
equipment in Slovak: Nástroj
equipment in Slovenian: Orodje
equipment in Serbian: Alat
equipment in Serbo-Croatian: Alat
equipment in Finnish: Työkalu
equipment in Swedish: Verktyg
equipment in Cherokee: ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ
equipment in Turkish: Âlet
equipment in Yiddish: ווערקצייג
equipment in Contenese: 架生
equipment in Chinese: 工具

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Lecher wires, RC oscillator, VOM, VTVM, ability, accessories, accouterment, accouterments, adaptation, adjustment, ammeter, anemometer, anemoscope, apparatus, appliances, appointments, appurtenances, armament, arrangement, attachments, baggage, barograph, barometer, basic training, bearer, bed, belongings, bevel, bilge pump, binnacle, blanket, boat hook, boss, box, briefing, bump, burning-in tool, burr, caliber, capability, capacity, case, catering, caulking cotton, caulking iron, chandlery, changing bag, chase, clearing the decks, clobber, closeup lens, compass, composing stick, conditioning, conveniences, darkroom, developing tank, diaphragm, dodging tool, dower, dowry, drawsheet, dryer, drying blotter, duffel, easel, electric meter, electronic-flash unit, enablement, endowment, enlarger, equipage, exposure meter, facilities, facility, faculty, familiarization, fid, field-strength meter, filter, finder, finding, fisheye lens, fit, fitting, fitting out, fittings, fixing, fixtures, flair, flash tube, flashbulb, flashcube, flashgun, flashlight, footstick, form, forte, foundation, frame, frequency meter, furnishing, furnishings, furnishment, furniture, gadget bag, galley, gear, genius, gift, grapnel, grappling iron, grid-dip meter, grid-dip oscillator, groundwork, guide, gutter, habiliments, hawse bag, hawse hook, high-voltage probe, holystone, hygrograph, impedimenta, incident light meter, installations, instinct, investment, kit, lens, lens cover, lens hood, light meter, log, logistics, long suit, machinery, makeready, making ready, makings, manufacture, marlinespike, materials, materiel, matrix, metier, milliammeter, mobilization, munition, munitions, natural endowment, natural gift, ohmmeter, oscilloscope, outfit, outfitting, output indicator, overlay, paraphernalia, parts, photoflash, photoflash lamp, photometer, planning, plant, platen, plumbing, potential, power, powers, prearrangement, preliminaries, preliminary, preliminary act, preliminary step, prep, preparation, preparatory study, preparing, prepping, prerequisite, pretreatment, processing, procurement, propaedeutic, providing, provision, provisioning, provisions, pulse generator, pump, purveyance, qualification, quoin, range finder, ratchet, readying, reflector, reinforcement, replenishment, resonance indicator, resupply, retailing, rig, rigging, selling, shutter, signal generator, sounders, spadework, speciality, stock-in-trade, stroboscopic light, strong flair, strong point, subsidization, subsidy, subvention, supply, supplying, sweep generator, tack, tackle, tackling, talent, talents, telephoto lens, the goods, the stuff, thermograph, things, timer, toggle, training, trappings, traps, treatment, trial, tripod, tryout, tuning, turtle, tympan, underlay, utensils, varifocal lens, victualing, viewfinder, voltmeter, warm-up, wavemeter, what it takes, zoom lens
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