serving or acting as an instrument or means; useful; helpful.
performed on or written for a musical instrument or instruments: instrumental music.
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.”
noting the affix or other element characteristic of this case, or a word
containing such an element.
similar to such a case form in function or meaning, as the Latin instrumental ablative, gladiō, “by means of a sword.”
(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.
5. Grammar. b.
a word in the instrumental case.
a construction of similar meaning.
a musical composition played by an instrument or a group of instruments. Compare vocal ( def 8 )
Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English Related forms
< Medieval Latin instrūmentālis.
1. implemental, effectual, effective.