(In`stru*men"tal) a. [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,Shak.
The hand more instrumental to the mouth.
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."
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 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
want of mathematical accuracy in an instrument.
(In`stru*men"tal*ist), n. One who plays upon an instrument of music, as distinguished
from a vocalist.
(In`stru*men*tal"i*ty) n.; pl. Instrumentalities The quality or condition of being instrumental; that
which is instrumental; anything used as a means; medium; agency.
The instrumentality of faith in justification.Bp. Burnet.
The discovery of gunpowder developed the science of attack and defense in a new instrumentality.J.
1. By means of an instrument or agency; as means to an end. South.
They will argue that the end being essentially beneficial, the means become instrumentally so.Burke.
2. With instruments of music; as, a song instrumentally accompanied. Mason.
(In`stru*men"tal*ness), n. Usefulness or agency, as means to an end; instrumentality.
(In`stru*men"ta*ry) a. Instrumental. [R.]
1. The act of using or adapting as an instrument; a series or combination of instruments; means; agency.
Otherwise we have no sufficient instrumentation for our human use or handling of so great a fact.H.
2. (Mus.) (a) The arrangement of a musical composition for performance by a number of different
instruments; orchestration; instrumental composition; composition for an orchestra or military band. (b)
The act or manner of playing upon musical instruments; performance; as, his instrumentation is perfect.
(In"stru*men`tist) n. A performer on a musical instrument; an instrumentalist.