in·​stru·​men·​tal·​ist | \ ˌin(t)-strə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ist How to pronounce instrumentalist (audio) \

Definition of instrumentalist

1 : a player on a musical instrument
2 : an exponent of instrumentalism

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Other Words from instrumentalist

instrumentalist adjective

Synonyms for instrumentalist


musician, player

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Examples of instrumentalist in a Sentence

he excels as a conductor, a composer, and as an instrumentalist

Recent Examples on the Web

But people don’t often drift over into being instrumentalists? Quanta Magazine, "The Astronomer Who’d Rather Build Space Cameras," 18 Apr. 2019 For that Yanya can thank her longtime friend and instrumentalist Jazzi Bobbi, who accompanies her onstage at her shows. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nilüfer Yanya Is in the Fast Lane in Her New “Baby Blu” Music Video," 12 Apr. 2019 The arranger, producer, composer, instrumentalist, mentor of youth, civil-rights activist and all-around musical force Quincy Jones has done a lot. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘Quincy’ Review: A Flat Note for a Music Legend," 20 Sep. 2018 As female instrumentalists have increasingly claimed space in jazz’s male-centric spotlight, DIVA has served as a proving ground for some of the music’s rising voices. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "March in Live Jazz: 5 Standout Shows," 30 Mar. 2018 The music made by these singers and instrumentalists had always been pushed to the margins of American society, almost never allowed into such a temple of high culture. John Edward Hasse, WSJ, "The Concert That Changed Music History," 24 Dec. 2018 That recorder breakdown doubles as a reminder that, for all their silliness, McKenzie and Clement have always been talented multi-instrumentalists with a keen ear for genre- and era-specific sounds. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "4 new TV shows to try, from Halloween horror to the Flight of the Conchords," 5 Oct. 2018 The sound itself gleamed, with the individual contributions of each instrumentalist remarkably clear. Greg Kot,, "Radiohead keeps things volatile at United Center," 7 July 2018 Grammy voters will more than likely be charmed by an act with huge commercial appeal, an amazing live act, top-notch songwriting capabilities, a multi-instrumentalist — who hails from Hawaii. Mesfin Fekadu And Nekesa Mumbi Moody, sacbee, "Who will win Grammys? Let’s take a close look | The Sacramento Bee," 24 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instrumentalist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of instrumentalist

1814, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for instrumentalist

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for instrumentalist

The first known use of instrumentalist was in 1814

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English Language Learners Definition of instrumentalist

: a person who plays a musical instrument

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