in·​stru·​men·​tal·​ist ˌin(t)-strə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ist How to pronounce instrumentalist (audio)
: a player on a musical instrument
: an exponent of instrumentalism
instrumentalist adjective

Examples of instrumentalist in a Sentence

he excels as a conductor, a composer, and as an instrumentalist
Recent Examples on the Web There is also no lack of gifted composers, singers, and instrumentalists. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2024 Three decades later, any venue that isn’t regularly booking female instrumentalists is neglecting some of the most exciting music being made. Andrew Gilbert, The Mercury News, 27 Feb. 2024 This concert featured Black Juilliard singers and instrumentalists who celebrated the work of Black artists and composers. Jane Levere, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 One of the key instrumentalists in popularizing the one drop rhythm, an authentic recapturing of Carly’s drum playing proved to be a microcosm of the One Love cast’s commitment to taking pride in every detail of the film’s music scenes. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 17 Feb. 2024 She is described as an instrumentalist who is not from the United States and has performed at Carnegie Hall., 8 Nov. 2023 The instrumentalists and dancers work in tandem, with the music cuing specific steps and the person under the lion’s tail following the dancer under the head. Marisa Iati, Washington Post, 9 Feb. 2024 The unnamed woman is described in the suit as an instrumentalist from outside the United States and was and still is a resident of New York. Matthew Ismael Ruiz, Pitchfork, 9 Nov. 2023 That’s a rare kind of a multi-show run for a jazz instrumentalist to enjoy, well, basically anywhere outside of New York City. Randy McMullen, The Mercury News, 3 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1814, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of instrumentalist was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near instrumentalist

Cite this Entry

“Instrumentalist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​stru·​men·​tal·​ist ˌin(t)-strə-ˈment-ᵊl-əst How to pronounce instrumentalist (audio)
: a person who plays a musical instrument

More from Merriam-Webster on instrumentalist

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!