[ in-struh-men-tl ]
/ ˌɪn strəˈmɛn tl /
serving or acting as an instrument or means; useful; helpful.
performed on or written for a musical instrument or instruments: instrumental music.
of or relating to an instrument or tool.
- (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.
- the instrumental case.
- 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).
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Origin of instrumental
OTHER WORDS FROM instrumental
in·stru·men·tal·ly, adverbnon·in·stru·men·tal, adjectivenon·in·stru·men·tal·ly, adverbun·in·stru·men·tal, adjective
Words nearby instrumental
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for noninstrumental
Many other scales are similarly employed in the noninstrumental observation of wind force.Meteorology|Charles Fitzhugh Talman
British Dictionary definitions for noninstrumental
/ (ˌɪnstrəˈmɛntəl) /
serving as a means or influence; helpful
of, relating to, or characterized by an instrument or instruments
played by or composed for musical instruments
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
a piece of music composed for instruments rather than for voices
- the instrumental case
- a word or speech element in the instrumental case
Derived forms of instrumentalinstrumentality, nouninstrumentally, 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