Meaning of “tool” in the English Dictionary

"tool" in British English

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toolnoun [ C ]

uk /tuːl/ us /tuːl/

tool noun [ C ] (EQUIPMENT)

a piece of equipment that you use with your hands to make or repair something:

power tools
machine tools

something that helps you to do a particular activity:

A free low-interest credit card can be a useful budgeting tool.
tool of the trade

A tool of the trade is something you need to use to do your job:

The artist was surrounded by paints, brushes, and other tools of the trade.

More examples

tool noun [ C ] (PENIS)

offensive a penis

offensive an insulting word for a person who you dislike very much or who behaves very stupidly

(Definition of “tool” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tool" in American English

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toolnoun [ C ]

us /tul/

a piece of equipment that you use to help you do a job, esp. something that you use with your hands to make or repair something:

The only tools you need for this job are a hammer and a screwdriver.

A tool is also anything that helps you to do something you want to do:

We believe the new law will be an effective tool in fighting poverty.

(Definition of “tool” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"tool" in Business English

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toolnoun [ C ]

uk /tuːl/ us

a small piece of equipment that you use with your hands to make or repair something:

They sell agricultural machinery and tools.
You can assemble our furniture using hand tools or very basic power tools.

something that helps you in a particular activity:

An educated sales force is one of the most effective tools any company can have.
Our online presence gives us a powerful new tool to maintain market position.

IT a program or feature of a program that helps you do particular things on a computer:

The spreadsheet program offers several useful tools for manipulating the material.
Companies in the industry tend to use identical, or at least compatible, software tools.
tool of the trade

something that is necessary for doing a particular job:

A personal computer and laptop are essential tools of the trade for any journalist.
The ability to write clearly is another tool of the trade.

See also

(Definition of “tool” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)