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tool noun

1 instrument for making/repairing things

ADJ. general-purpose, multi-purpose | basic, primitive, standard, traditional craftsmen using traditional tools | sophisticated, special | sharp | rusting/rusty | cutting, drawing, measuring | cordless, hand, machine, power | agricultural, engineering, farm, garden/gardening, industrial, woodworking

QUANT. set

VERB + TOOL use | sharpen | blunt Cutting concrete would blunt a metal-cutting tool. | down ~s Workers downed tools (= stopped work) in protest at poor safety standards in the works.

TOOL + NOUN kit

PHRASES the tool/tools of the trade The guitarist opened the case and took out the tool of his trade.

2 sth that helps you do/achieve sth

ADJ. effective, essential, important, indispensable, invaluable, major, necessary, powerful, useful, valuable, vital | educational, learning, reference, research This dictionary is an invaluable reference tool for advanced learners. | ideological, negotiating, political, propaganda We must ensure that education is not used as a political tool. | communication, management, marketing | analysis/analytical, design, desktop, development, drawing, multimedia, presentation, programming, software