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.
Recent Examples on the Web
There is something in suburban rabbits that has evolved toward wickedness, their tails like an implement developed for hospitals, to mop up blood. Diane Seuss, The Atlantic, 20 Mar. 2024 Opdyke, Middleton, Dedmon and McAlpin used a wooden kitchen implement, a metal sword and pieces of wood to beat Parker, the complaint said. USA TODAY, 19 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for implement 

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 19 Apr. 2024.

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

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