1 of 2


im·​ple·​ment ˈim-plə-mənt How to pronounce implement (audio)
: a device used in the performance of a task : tool, utensil
: one that serves as an instrument or tool
the partnership agreement does not seem to be a very potent implementH. B. Hoffman
: an article serving to equip
the implements of religious worship


2 of 2


im·​ple·​ment ˈim-plə-ˌment How to pronounce implement (audio)
implemented; implementing; implements

transitive verb

: carry out, accomplish
especially : to give practical effect to and ensure of actual fulfillment by concrete measures
: to provide instruments or means of expression for
implementer noun
or implementor
Choose the Right Synonym for implement

implement, tool, instrument, appliance, utensil mean a relatively simple device for performing work.

implement may apply to anything necessary to perform a task.

crude stone implements
farm implements

tool suggests an implement adapted to facilitate a definite kind or stage of work and suggests the need of skill more strongly than implement.

a carpenter's tools

instrument suggests a device capable of delicate or precise work.

the dentist's instruments

appliance refers to a tool or instrument utilizing a power source and suggests portability or temporary attachment.

household appliances

utensil applies to a device used in domestic work or some routine unskilled activity.

kitchen utensils

Examples of implement in a Sentence

Noun They eat with us, do the beach with us; the girls, K.C. and Jessica, buy kitchen implements for us, come over to casually straighten up, make beds, clear the dishes from the sink and the bedrooms … Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, 2000
In the toolhouse … there were also antique implements worn like prehistoric artifacts: an ancient oblong pink whetstone pointed at either end and soapily warped by all its use, and an old-fashioned square hoe worn into a lopsided metal oval … John Updike, The Afterlife, 1994
There was a little implement called a lemon zester that she had bought from a door-to-door salesman. Ann Beattie, New Yorker, 28 Dec. 1987
stone implements used in prehistoric times a sharp-edged implement used to chop wood Verb A federal interagency group should develop and implement a risk management strategy to reduce human exposure to dioxins and dioxin-like chemicals in food, says a report from the Institute of Medicine … Bette Hileman, Chemical & Engineering News, 7 July 2003
… drew scattered snickers when he implemented a dress code for Senate staffers … Michelle Cottle, New Republic, 12 July 1999
States remain years behind in implementing child support regulations … New York Times, 30 Dec. 1997
I wondered how I might best implement his plan. Due to high costs, the program was never fully implemented. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The $18 implement, made by the hair-tool brand FHI Heat, looks like a regular paddle brush, but with its rear panel removed so that air can flow through its perforated sheet of plastic bristles. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 25 Oct. 2023 But one constant is the central role of drawing in her practice, whether in the studio or at home and with implements as disparate as Sharpies, highlighters, and oil sticks. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 22 Oct. 2023 Screen Protectors Wherever there’s a touchscreen, there’s gonna be a set of keys or other sharp implements waiting to mar its shiny visage. WIRED, 28 Oct. 2023 Everywhere there is witty and playful art, often made from scrap materials and old farm implements. Pamela Wright,, 15 Aug. 2023 At the start of the first (and by far the longest), our hominin ancestors realized that some of the objects that were lying around—rocks, primarily—could be fashioned into implements. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 23 Oct. 2023 Plucking implements were pretty much stuck in the Bronze Age. Abbie Kozolchyk,, 17 Oct. 2023 We’ve been asked to be gentle and diligent with these giant, pronged implements. Hazlitt, 20 Sep. 2023 Charles Sennett, a pastor, promised Mr. Smith and two other men $1,000 each to kill his wife, who was found beaten to death with a fireplace implement. Stuart A. Creque, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2023
That was implemented to make wasting time more difficult. David K. Li, NBC News, 29 Nov. 2023 These case studies should include a brief overview, the challenges faced, the solutions implemented, and the outcomes achieved. Jodie Cook, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 Change is Simple was implemented at a time when curriculums in public education systems is facing increasing political pressure, but the subject matter the nonprofit teachers has nothing to do with politics, Lauren Belmonte said. Stephanie Ebbs, ABC News, 29 Nov. 2023 Thus, agency staff must be freed from constitutional constraints to implement top-down utopian blueprints. WSJ, 28 Nov. 2023 California’s government, following the lead of public health officials, enacted a stay-at-home order, implemented mask mandates and later embraced vaccines. Ryan Fonseca, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency reinstated California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to implement its own emission standards and electric vehicle sales mandates, allowing other states to also adopt California's rules. Thomas Catenacci, Fox News, 28 Nov. 2023 Michigan is on the verge of implementing one of the nation’s most ambitious clean energy mandates, aiming to be carbon-free by 2040 in what is a pivotal test of the Democrats’ environmental goals in a state with a long-standing manufacturing legacy. Joey Cappelletti, Fortune, 28 Nov. 2023 In the last year, Geen has implemented a strategy for Reddit that has elevated our presence and given us new ways to use the platform. Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'implement.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, "supplementary payment needed to complete the sum due," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French, "appurtenances (as furniture or equipment) belonging to a household or property," borrowed from Medieval Latin implēmentum "making up to a full complement (of a former state, extent or value), item contributing to the entirety of a property, appurtenance, fixture," going back to Late Latin, "act of filling, replenishment," from Latin implēre "to fill, provide in full measure, fill up, occupy, amount to, perform, carry out" (from im- im- + plēre "to fill") + -mentum -ment — more at full entry 1

Note: Regarding the currency of the verb plēre in Latin see note at complete entry 1.


derivative of implement entry 1

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1806, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of implement was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near implement

Cite this Entry

“Implement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
im·​ple·​ment ˈim-plə-mənt How to pronounce implement (audio)
: an article intended for use in work


2 of 2 verb
im·​ple·​ment ˈim-plə-ˌment How to pronounce implement (audio)
: to take steps to put into practice : carry out
implement the terms of a treaty
implementation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on implement

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