in the first instance

Definition of in the first instance

formal
:before other events happen :as the first thing in a series of actions
  • You will be seen in the first instance by your own doctor who may then send you to a specialist.

Word by Word Definitions

first play
  1. : preceding all others in time, order, or importance: such as

  2. : earliest

  3. : being the lowest forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle

  1. : before another in time, space, or importance

  2. : in the first place

  3. : for the first time

  1. : one that is number one in a series — see Table of Numbers

  2. : something that is first: such as

  3. : the first occurrence or item of a kind

instance play
  1. : urgent or earnest solicitation

  2. : instigation, request

  3. : an impelling cause or motive

  1. : to illustrate or demonstrate by an instance

  2. : to mention as a case or example : cite


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up in the first instance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

spoken rather than written

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!