American English

Definition of tool noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1 an instrument such as a hammer , screwdriver, saw, etc. that you hold in your hand and use for making things, repairing things, etc. garden tools a cutting tool power tools (= using electricity) Always select the right tool for the job.
  2. 2a thing that helps you to do your job or to achieve something research tools like questionnaires The computer is now an invaluable tool for the family doctor. Some of them carried the guns which were the tools of their trade (= the things they needed to do their job). the effectiveness of interest rates as an economic tool
  3. 3a person who is used or controlled by another person or group The senator was an unwitting tool of the president.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tool