instrumental

[in-struh-men-tl]
adjective
1.
serving or acting as an instrument or means; useful; helpful.
2.
performed on or written for a musical instrument or instruments: instrumental music.
3.
of or pertaining to an instrument or tool.
4.
Grammar.
a.
(in certain inflected languages, as Old English and Russian) noting or pertaining to a case having as its distinctive function the indication of means or agency, as Old English beseah blīthe andweitan “looked with a happy countenance.”
b.
noting the affix or other element characteristic of this case, or a word containing such an element.
c.
similar to such a case form in function or meaning, as the Latin instrumental ablative, gladiō, “by means of a sword.”
d.
(in case grammar) pertaining to the semantic role of a noun phrase that indicates the inanimate, nonvolitional, immediate cause of the action expressed by a verb, as the rock in The rock broke the window or in I broke the window with the rock.
noun
5.
Grammar.
a.
the instrumental case.
b.
a word in the instrumental case.
c.
a construction of similar meaning.
6.
a musical composition played by an instrument or a group of instruments. Compare vocal ( def 8 ).

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin instrūmentālis. See instrument, -al1

instrumentally, adverb
noninstrumental, adjective
noninstrumentally, adverb
uninstrumental, adjective
uninstrumentally, adverb


1. implemental, effectual, effective.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
instrumental (ˌɪnstrəˈmɛntəl)
 
adj
1.  serving as a means or influence; helpful
2.  of, relating to, or characterized by an instrument or instruments
3.  played by or composed for musical instruments
4.  grammar denoting a case of nouns, etc, in certain inflected languages, indicating the instrument used in performing an action, usually translated into English using the prepositions with or by means of
 
n
5.  a piece of music composed for instruments rather than for voices
6.  grammar
 a.  the instrumental case
 b.  a word or speech element in the instrumental case
 
instrumen'tality
 
n
 
instru'mentally
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Example sentences
Indeed, the chocolate was no doubt instrumental in keeping your sores from
  being worse than they otherwise would have been.
It is infused with lost tunes, melodies which one hears behind the elaborate
  instrumental configurations.
Satellite data instrumental in combating desertification.
Instrumental in developing many fundamental elements of the personal and
  notebook computers.
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