from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Serving as a means or agency; implemental: was instrumental in solving the crime.
- adj. Of, relating to, or accomplished with an instrument or tool.
- adj. Music Performed on or written for an instrument.
- adj. Grammar Of, relating to, or being the case used typically to express means, agency, or accompaniment.
- adj. Of or relating to instrumentalism.
- n. Grammar The instrumental case.
- n. A word or form in the instrumental case.
- n. Music A composition for one or more instruments, usually without vocal accompaniment.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable; essential or central.
- adj. Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, especially a musical instrument.
- adj. Applied to a case expressing means or agency, generally indicated in English by by or with with the objective.
- n. The instrumental case.
- n. A composition without lyrics.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable.
- adj. Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, esp. a musical instrument.
- adj. Applied to a case expressing means or agency. This is found in Sanskrit and Russian as a separate case, but in Greek it was merged into the dative, and in Latin into the ablative. In Old English it was a separate case, but has disappeared, leaving only a few anomalous forms.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of the nature of an instrument or tool; serving as an instrument or means; used or serving to promote or effect an object; helpful; serviceable: as, the press has been instrumental in enlarging the bounds of knowledge.
- Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for instruments, especially musical instruments.
- In grammar, serving to indicate the instrument or means: applied to a case, as in Sanskrit, involving the notion of by or with.
- n. An instrument.
- n. The instrumental case. Compare I., 3.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. relating to or designed for or performed on musical instruments
- adj. serving or acting as a means or aid
From Middle English, from Medieval Latin instrumentalis, from instruere ("to build into, set up, construct, furnish, hence "to train""), from in- ("on") + struere ("to put together, arrange, pile up, build, construct"), from Proto-Indo-European *strew- (“to spread, to strew”). (Wiktionary)