Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

instrumental

play
adjective in·stru·men·tal \ˌin(t)-strə-ˈmen-təl\

Simple Definition of instrumental

  • : very important in helping or causing something to happen or be done

  • music : written for or performed on musical instruments : not including singing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of instrumental

  1. 1 a :  serving as a crucial means, agent, or tool <was instrumental in organizing the strike> b :  of, relating to, or done with an instrument or tool

  2. 2 :  relating to, composed for, or performed on a musical instrument

  3. 3 :  of, relating to, or being a grammatical case or form expressing means or agency

  4. 4 :  of or relating to instrumentalism

  5. 5 :  operant 3 <instrumental learning> <instrumental conditioning>

instrumental noun
instrumentally play \-təl-ē\ adverb

Examples of instrumental in a sentence

  1. They played instrumental music at the wedding.

  2. an instrumental version of a song



14th Century

First Known Use of instrumental

14th century


INSTRUMENTAL Defined for Kids

instrumental

play
adjective in·stru·men·tal \ˌin-strə-ˈmen-təl\

Definition of instrumental for Students

  1. 1 :  acting to get something done <He was instrumental in organizing the club.>

  2. 2 :  relating to or done with an instrument <instrumental navigation>

  3. 3 :  played on an instrument rather than sung <instrumental music>




Medical Dictionary

instrumental

play
adjective in·stru·men·tal \ˌin(t)-strə-ˈment-əl\

Medical Definition of instrumental

  1. :  operant <instrumental learning> <instrumental conditioning>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up instrumental? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce soothe disapprove perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ