(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Means to an end
1. instrumentality; instrument, aid; subservience, subserviency; vehicle, hand, expedient (see plan); means, agency.
2. (means) stepping-stone; [master or skeleton] key, latchkey, passkey; open sesame; passport, passe-partout, safeconduct, pass, etc.
3. (tools)
a. hardware, equipment; gadget, contraption; automaton, robot, nanobot, foglet; instrument, tool, device, implement, appliance, apparatus, contrivance, machine.
b. [ball-peen or claw] hammer, beetle, club, fuller, hatcher, mallet, maul, pestle, ram, scutch, sledge[hammer], tamp, triphammer.
c. adz, alpenstock, awl, barb, bill, bodkin, burin, chisel, cleaver, clipper, colter, crampon, crochet, dibble, drawshave, edger, frow, gouge, grapnel, graver, hardy, hatchet, hook, inshave, nibbler, nippers, peavey, pick, pike, punch[eon], scissors, scraper, scythe, shears, sickle, snips, spur, stylus, tang, trier, wedge. See sharpness.
d. buffer, file, darby, die, flatiron, flatter, float, grindstone, hone, jointer, lathe, oilstone, plane, putty knife, rasp, router, sander, sandpaper, scraper, shaper, shavehook, slipstone, spokeshave, steel wool, strop, swage, tamper, trowel, water-stone, whetstone. See smoothness.
e. azibiki, backsaw, bayonet, bucksaw, chain saw, circular saw, coping saw, crosscut saw, dozuki, hacksaw, handsaw, jigsaw, keyhole saw, compass saw, ripsaw, ryoba, saw, whipsaw.
f. bail, bar, crowbar, cultivator, entrenching tool, fork, hoe, lever, loy, mattock, pitchfork, plow, pry, prize, jimmy, rake, scoop, shovel, spade, spatula, sput, trowel. Informal, Army banjo. See concavity.
g. auger, drill, bit, bore, brace, chaser, chuck, corkscrew, gimlet, jackhammer, mandrel, reamer, snake, tap, wimble, broach, burr.
h. wrench, spanner.
i. anchor, brace, chuck, clamp, claw, clip, forceps, grip, impact driver, pincers, pinchcock, pliers, stapler, nailer, puller, riveter, [Phillips, flat-head, offset, Robertson, or Allen] screwdriver, screw gun, tongs, tweezers, vise.
j. alligator clip, arbor, bearing, bibcock, bolt, brace, brad, buckle, bushing, cable, caster, chain, chevron, clevis, collar, cotter, elbow, eye[bolt], flange, gasket, gooseneck, grommet, hasp, hinge, knob, knuckle, latch, nail, nipple, nut, pin, pipe, plug, rivet, screw, setscrew, shackle, spring, staple, stirrup, stud, switch, tack, thumbscrew, thumbtack, valve, washer, wye. See connection.
k. jack; motor, engine, treadle, pedal; gear, paraphernalia, machinery; pulley, block and tackle, crane, derrick; belt, conveyor belt; wheels, gears, cam, clockwork, cog, flywheel; can opener, scissors, shears, lawnmower, etc. Slang, droid, Jaws of Life, church key.
l. gadget. Informal, watchamacallit, thingamy. Slang, dofunny, dojigger, gewgaw, hicky, wing-ding, dufus, dingbat, doodad, fandangle, gilhooley, gimcrack, gizmo, knack, majig, whazzit, widget.
Verbs — be instrumental, subserve.
Adjectives — instrumental; useful (see utility); ministerial, subservient.
Adverbs — instrumentally; through, by, per; whereby, thereby, hereby; by the agency of.
Quotations — Man is a tool-using animal... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all (Thomas Carlyle), One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man (Elbert Hubbard), One servant is worth a thousand gadgets (Joseph Schumpeter).
Antonyms, see uselessness.
(Roget's IV) n.
Syn. contribution, help, assistance, agency; see aid 1 , means 1 .
(Roget's Thesaurus II) noun That by which something is accomplished or some end achieved: agency, agent, instrument, instrumentation, intermediary, mean3 (used in plural), mechanism, medium, organ. See MEANS.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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