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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 implement H. B. Hoffman
: an article serving to equip
the implements of religious worship


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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

Example Sentences

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
She had been stabbed, and beaten with a fireplace implement, in what investigators would soon conclude was a murder-for-hire paid for by the pastor and staged to look like a home invasion and burglary. al, 17 Nov. 2022 The result is science-lab function and organic warmth with the heft in the hand of a luxe lighter or high-end writing implement. Los Angeles Times, 2 Nov. 2022 The most common implement used for bench pressing, the barbell, presents some mobility issues for folks with tight shoulders. Perri O. Blumberg, Men's Health, 4 Oct. 2022 Bauman reports that school officials have confirmed the implement used in the attack was not a knife. Dan Carson, Chron, 27 Sep. 2022 Chances are the implement that comes to mind has a wooden handle—maybe rubber—leading to a metal head, with a claw in the back. Jenna Kunze, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Sep. 2022 The implement also works particularly well for dynamic moves such as chops and swings, just like a Bulgarian bag. Men's Health, 19 Sep. 2022 Historically, when a person working the land in Australia needed to replace an implement, there would be a six-month turnaround, as the sailing ship went off to Merry Old England and then sailed back with the replacement. Greg Story, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 Smith will lead Camber in helping more than 300 outdoor industry partners including REI, Timberline, Smartwool, CamelBak, Topo Designs, Thule, Rivian, Jack Wolfskin, and YETI implement DEI practices in their workplaces. Steve Larese, Outside Online, 29 June 2022
The former Tulsa head coach was 39 years old and a former NCAA Division II champion coach at North Dakota State who at UW tried to implement a veer offense absent players who fit the scheme. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 29 Nov. 2022 Under the agreement, the federal government also will provide money for staff jobs to help implement Salton Sea projects. Ian Jamesstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 29 Nov. 2022 Now is the appropriate time for Congress to pass legislation to implement the agreements already ratified by eight of the twelve unions. Sarah Kolinovsky, ABC News, 28 Nov. 2022 The Baker administration awarded $4 million in grants last year to help implement or expand local police body camera programs as part of a 5-year, $20 million investment in the technology., 28 Nov. 2022 But 60% of counties in this country are refusing to implement the nation’s gun laws. Hanna Panreck, Fox News, 27 Nov. 2022 The restrictions remain in many parts of the region as officials struggle to implement orders from Beijing to be more precise in applying Covid controls. Wenxin Fan, WSJ, 25 Nov. 2022 The Batavia City Council recently voted 10-3 to implement a 10-cent fee on retail single-use shopping bags in the city. Linda Girardi, Chicago Tribune, 25 Nov. 2022 That will help lower the cost burden for developers and make bike parking more flexible and practical to implement, Volland said. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 24 Nov. 2022 See More

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

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 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

implement 1 of 2


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


2 of 2


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

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