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Webster 1913 Edition


Instrumental

Inˊstru-men′tal

,
Adj.
[Cf. F.
instrumental
.]
1.
Acting as an instrument; serving as a means; contributing to promote; conductive; helpful; serviceable;
as, he was
instrumental
in conducting the business
.
The head is not more native to the heart,
The hand more
instrumental
to the mouth.
Shakespeare
2.
(Mus.)
Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, esp. a musical instrument;
as,
instrumental
music, distinguished from
vocal
music
.
“He defended the use of instrumental music in public worship.”
Macaulay.
Sweet voices mix’d with
instrumental
sounds.
Dryden.
3.
(Gram.)
Applied to a case expressing means or agency;
as, the
instrumental
case
. 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.
Instrumental errors
,
those errors in instrumental measurements, etc., which arise, exclusively from lack of mathematical accuracy in an instrument.

Webster 1828 Edition


Instrumental

INSTRUMENT'AL

,
Adj.
Conducive as an instrument or means to some end; contributing aid; serving to promote or effect an object; helpful. The press has been instrumental in enlarging the bounds of knowledge.
1.
Pertaining to instruments; made by instruments; as instrumental music, distinguished form vocal music, which is made by the human voice.

Definition 2021


Instrumental

Instrumental

German

Noun

Instrumental m (genitive Instrumentals, plural Instrumentale)

  1. instrumental

Declension

instrumental

instrumental

English

Adjective

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.
    • (Can we date this quote?), William Shakespeare, Hamlet, I,ii
      The head is not more native to the heart, The hand more instrumental to the mouth
    • 2012, Christoper Zara, Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds, part 1, chapter 2, 51:
      Few songwriters have been as instrumental in creating the mold for American music.
  2. (music) Pertaining to, made by, or prepared for, an instrument, especially a musical instrument.
    instrumental music
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Babington Macaulay
      He defended the use of instrumental music in public worship.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
    • Sweet voices mix'd with instrumental sounds.
  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

Antonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Noun

instrumental (countable and uncountable, plural instrumentals)

  1. (uncountable, grammar) The instrumental case.
  2. (countable, music) A composition written or performed without lyrics, sometimes using a lead instrument to replace vocals.
    • 1977, Stereo Review (volume 38, page 70)
      I recommend this album in the face of the fact that five of the eleven songs are the purest filler, dull instrumentals with a harmonica rifling over an indifferent rhythm section. The rest is magnificent []

Translations


Catalan

Adjective

instrumental m, f (masculine and feminine plural instrumentals)

  1. instrumental

French

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃s.tʁy.mɑ̃.tal/

Adjective

instrumental m (feminine singular instrumentale, masculine plural instrumentaux, feminine plural instrumentales)

  1. instrumental

Noun

instrumental m (plural instrumentaux)

  1. (grammar) the instrumental case

See also


German

Etymology

From French instrumental.

Instrument + -al

Pronunciation

  • Rhymes: -aːl

Adjective

instrumental (not comparable)

  1. (music) instrumental

Antonyms

Declension


Portuguese

Adjective

instrumental m, f (plural instrumentais, comparable)

  1. (music) instrumental (having no singing)
  2. (grammar) instrumental (pertaining to the instrumental case)

Noun

instrumental m (plural instrumentais)

  1. (uncountable, grammar) instrumental (grammatical case)
  2. (countable, music) instrumental (composition without singing)

Serbo-Croatian

Noun

ȉnstrumentāl m (Cyrillic spelling и̏нструмента̄л)

  1. the instrumental case
  2. (music) a composition made for instruments only or a (version of some) song in which only the instruments are heard

Declension


Spanish

Adjective

instrumental m, f (plural instrumentales)

  1. instrumental