instance

noun
in·​stance | \ ˈin(t)-stən(t)s How to pronounce instance (audio) \

Definition of instance

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a step, stage, or situation viewed as part of a process or series of events prefers, in this instance, to remain anonymousThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
2 : the institution and prosecution of a lawsuit : suit
3a : an individual illustrative of a category or brought forward in support or disproof of a generalization
b archaic : exception
c obsolete : token, sign
4a : instigation, request am writing to you at the instance of my client
b archaic : urgent or earnest solicitation
c obsolete : an impelling cause or motive
for instance \ fə-​ˈrin(t)-​stən(t)s How to pronounce fə-ˈrin(t)-stən(t)s (audio) , ˈfrin(t)-​ \
: as an instance or example older people, like my grandmother, for instance

instance

verb
instanced; instancing

Definition of instance (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to illustrate or demonstrate by an instance
2 : to mention as a case or example : cite

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Choose the Right Synonym for instance

Noun

instance, case, illustration, example, sample, specimen mean something that exhibits distinguishing characteristics in its category. instance applies to any individual person, act, or thing that may be offered to illustrate or explain. an instance of history repeating itself case is used to direct attention to a real or assumed occurrence or situation that is to be considered, studied, or dealt with. a case of mistaken identity illustration applies to an instance offered as a means of clarifying or illuminating a general statement. a telling illustration of Murphy's Law example applies to a typical, representative, or illustrative instance or case. a typical example of bureaucratic waste sample implies a part or unit taken at random from a larger whole and so presumed to be typical of its qualities. show us a sample of your work specimen applies to any example or sample whether representative or merely existent and available. one of the finest specimens of the jeweler's art

Examples of instance in a Sentence

Noun

an instance of great courage These delays are just another instance of bureaucratic inefficiency. In most instances the disease can be controlled by medication. They have decided not to oppose the decision in this instance.

Verb

instanced one particular incident as an illustration of their penchant for practical jokes instanced the latest astronomical research in her presentation on measuring star magnitude
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This coat is one of the chicest nods to upcycling in any collection, and perhaps the only instance of upcycling from a major house this season. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 10 Collections of the Fall 2019 Season," 8 Mar. 2019 For these instances, Amazon claims that the devices were likely triggered by false positive commands. Natt Garun, The Verge, "How to hear (and delete) every conversation your Amazon Alexa has recorded," 28 Feb. 2019 The instances of racial bias and innocent Black lives taken by gun-carrying law enforcement officers continues to be an issue that needs to be resolved in our country. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "8 Parkland Teachers on What They Really Think About Being Armed," 13 Feb. 2019 His death — which is currently being reviewed by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office and has yet to result in any indictments — gained national attention as another instance of lethal police force enacted upon an unarmed black body. Lincoln Anthony Blades, Teen Vogue, "Stevante Clark is Running for Mayor of Sacramento," 3 Jan. 2019 And although the initial boot time will take some time, Microsoft will freeze the state of the VM, post-boot, and refer to it when opening future instances of Sandbox—reducing that boot time significantly. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft announces Windows Sandbox, a virtualized safe space for testing untrusted apps," 19 Dec. 2018 The government agency is investigating a potential link between pet foods with peas, lentils, potatoes and other legume seeds and instances of canine dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs not typically vulnerable to the disease. Jennifer Calfas, Time, "Dog Heart Disease May Be Linked to Potato-Based Pet Food, FDA Says," 13 July 2018 In all instances, just be sure to wash your hands and any tools with hot soapy water after touching a sore. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, ""I Have a Cold Sore. Does That Mean I Have Herpes?"," 22 Feb. 2019 Support groups, on the other hand, are typically led by people who have experience living with a certain condition or under specific circumstances (though in less common instances, a mental health professional might lead a support group). Brittany Risher, SELF, "How to Know If Group Therapy Might Be Right for You," 14 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of instance

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4b

Verb

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for instance

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instance

The first known use of instance was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for instance

instance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of instance

: an example of a particular type of action or situation : an occasion of something happening

instance

noun
in·​stance | \ ˈin-stəns How to pronounce instance (audio) \

Kids Definition of instance

1 : a particular occurrence of something : example an instance of true bravery
2 : a certain point or situation in a process or series of events In most instances, the medicine helps.

instance

noun
in·​stance | \ ˈin-stəns How to pronounce instance (audio) \

Legal Definition of instance

: the institution or prosecution of a lawsuit a court of first instance

History and Etymology for instance

French, from Late Latin instantia, from Latin, the fact of being present or impending, vehemence in speech, urgency, from instant-, instans insistent, pressing, from present participle of instare to be pressing, stand upon

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Spanish Central: Translation of instance

Nglish: Translation of instance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instance for Arabic Speakers

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