follow Dictionary.com

Get the details behind our redesign

instrumental

[in-struh-men-tl] /ˌɪn strəˈmɛn 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.
  1. (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.”.
  2. noting the affix or other element characteristic of this case, or a word containing such an element.
  3. similar to such a case form in function or meaning, as the Latin instrumental ablative, gladiō, “by means of a sword.”.
  4. (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.
  1. the instrumental case.
  2. a word in the instrumental case.
  3. 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
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin instrūmentālis. See instrument, -al1
Related forms
instrumentally, adverb
noninstrumental, adjective
noninstrumentally, adverb
uninstrumental, adjective
uninstrumentally, adverb
Synonyms
1. implemental, effectual, effective.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for un instrumental

instrumental

/ˌɪnstrəˈmɛntəl/
adjective
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
noun
5.
a piece of music composed for instruments rather than for voices
6.
(grammar)
  1. the instrumental case
  2. a word or speech element in the instrumental case
Derived Forms
instrumentality, noun
instrumentally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for instrumental

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for un

2
4
Scrabble Words With Friends