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[in-struh-men-tl-ist] /ˌɪn strəˈmɛn tl ɪst/
a person who plays a musical instrument.
an advocate of instrumentalism.
of, relating to, or advocating instrumentalism.
Origin of instrumentalist
First recorded in 1815-25; instrumental + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for instrumentalist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Watch the instrumentalist—till you make sure it is the male who is wooing Katy with his persistent guitar.

    Summer Dallas Lore Sharp
  • His musical director was not only an instrumentalist but a composer as well.

    Sundry Accounts Irvin S. Cobb
  • From an instrumentalist in Colonne's orchestra he had attained the rank of assistant conductor.

    An Autobiography Igor Stravinsky
  • Rossini, then, at once vocalist and instrumentalist, began his career in both characters at a very early age.

  • But why should either of these two factors be less essential to a singer than to an instrumentalist?

    Style in Singing W. E. Haslam
  • Mr. Williams, as an instrumentalist, devotes himself especially to the violin and the cornet.

  • The extraordinary career of Paganini has received more attention than the life of any other instrumentalist.

    Nicolo Paganini: His Life and Work Stephen Samuel Stratton
  • The critic discusses the Premier both as vocalist and instrumentalist, and in both capacities finds him sadly wanting.

  • At any rate no instrumentalist of taste would play the above song staccato.

British Dictionary definitions for instrumentalist


a person who plays a musical instrument
(philosophy) a person who believes in the doctrines of instrumentalism
of or relating to instrumentalism
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
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Word Origin and History for instrumentalist

1823, from instrumental in the musical sense + -ist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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