in·​stru·​men·​tal·​ist | \ˌin(t)-strə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ist \

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

From Here) at this year’s ceremony, along with instrumentalists Moses Sumney, Casey Foubert and James McAlister. Call Me By Your Name is nominated for a slew of Oscars, including best picture. Nina Braca, Billboard, "Sufjan Stevens Will Be Joined by St. Vincent & Chris Thile for 'Mystery of Love' Oscars Performance," 2 Mar. 2018 For nearly 20 years multi-instrumentalist Scott Hirsch has quietly sculpted rich landscapes of expansive Americana in San Francisco’s the Court and Spark. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "After decades playing in the Court and Spark and Hiss Golden Messenger, Scott Hirsch turns front man," 8 Mar. 2018 Keyboardist Geoff Downes, vocalist Jon Davison and multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood round out the lineup that’s slated to play two sets of Yes classics on Sunday. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "KC concerts June 7-13: Dierks Bentley, David Byrne, Yes, Ledisi, John Butler Trio," 5 June 2018 The 25-year-old singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and producer from Toronto depended heavily on her intuition while curating her EP, Stone Woman, which released in February. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Charlotte Day Wilson Will Put You In Your Feelings," 26 June 2018 Since his debut in 1982, Kenny G has become one of the biggest selling instrumentalists ever, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "Kenny G Signs With WME," 11 Jan. 2018 Longtime multi-instrumentalist Charles DeChant, who has played with Hall & Oates since 1976, is the act’s unsung hero. Ed Condran,, "Hall & Oates' Hoagie Nation returns to Festival Pier for its second year," 27 May 2018 The composer and multi-instrumentalist Elliott Sharp creates dramatically varying energies, some of them intense. New York Times, "A Musical Solstice Spectacle Sprawls Across New York," 22 June 2018 In recent years Davachi—who’s currently a doctoral student in musicology at UCLA—has increasingly collaborated with other instrumentalists. Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader, "Canadian sound artist Sarah Davachi uses electronics and site-specific acoustics to transform various instruments into something mesmerizing," 12 Apr. 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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Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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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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