Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of instrumental
Meaning of instrumental by Wiktionary Dictionary



    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” ) .


    instrumental ( comparative more instrumental, superlative most instrumental )

    1. Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable; essential or central .
      He was instrumental in conducting the business .
    2. ( music ) Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, especially a musical instrument .
      instrumental music
    3. ( grammar ) Applied to a case expressing means or agency, generally indicated in English by by or with with the objective .
      the instrumental case .

    Coordinate terms


    instrumental ( countable and uncountable; plural: instrumentals )

    1. ( uncountable, grammar ) The instrumental case .
    2. ( countable, music ) A composition without lyrics .

    External links

    • instrumental in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • instrumental in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of instrumental by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. serving or acting as a means or aid

    2. instrumental in solving the crime
    3. relating to or designed for or performed on musical instruments

    4. instrumental compositions
      an instrumental ensemble