tool ( tools plural )
1 n-count A tool is any instrument or simple piece of equipment that you hold in your hands and use to do a particular kind of work. For example, spades, hammers, and knives are all tools.
I find the best tool for the purpose is a pair of shears.
2 n-count You can refer to anything that you use for a particular purpose as a particular type of tool.
usu with supp, oft N for -ing/n
The video has become an invaluable teaching tool...
3 n-count If you describe someone as a tool of a particular person, group, or system, you mean that they are controlled and used by that person, group, or system, especially to do unpleasant or dishonest things.
usu N of n (disapproval)
He became the tool of the security services.
4 If you say that workers down tools , you mean that they stop working suddenly in order to strike or to make a protest of some kind.
down tools phrase V inflects
5 The tools of your trade or the tools of the trade are the skills, instruments, and other equipment that you need in order to do your job properly.
tools of one's/the trade phrase PHR after v, oft v-link PHR
They're here to learn the tools of their trade from their American colleagues...
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"