English

Definition of tool noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    tool

     noun
    noun
    BrE BrE//tuːl//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tuːl//
     
     
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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. 2  a 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 prime minister was an unwitting tool of the president.
  4. 4(taboo, slang) a penis
  5. Word Origin Old English tōl, from a Germanic base meaning ‘prepare’. The verb dates from the early 19th cent.Extra examples Do you have the right tools for the job? Sympathy and compassion are the tools of his trade. The Internet has become a vital tool for many artists. The guitarist opened the case and took out the tool of his trade. This dictionary is an invaluable reference tool for advanced learners. We must ensure that education is not used as a political tool. Workers downed tools in protest at poor safety standards in the works. Workers downed tools= stopped work in protest at poor safety standards in the works. a valuable diagnostic tool for physicians craftsmen using traditional tools First prize is this beautiful set of garden tools. Some of them carried the guns which were the tools of their trade. We make use of various research tools such as questionnaires. You will need a good-quality, sharp cutting tool. a tool kitIdioms (British English) (of workers) to stop work; to go on strike
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tool