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 instance (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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For instance, a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that over 20 million people quit their jobs in the second half of 2021. Jerry Cahn, Forbes, 6 May 2022 For instance, both characters pine for Layla El-Fahouly (May Calamawy), Marc’s wife, but in a distinctly unique way. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 6 May 2022 For instance, consider a 0% balance transfer credit card or a low-interest personal loan. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, 6 May 2022 Manfred wrote the broadcast was on a one-second delay and there was no evidence of sign stealing in that instance, but the use of the iPad was a violation. oregonlive, 26 Apr. 2022 In that instance, the money supply could keep growing even in the face of Fed rate increases. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 21 Apr. 2022 In that instance, a woman was sitting on stairs in the area when she was approached by an unknown man. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2022 His bulbous facial reaction in that instance is what Marquand was trying to evoke when Jabba meets his end. Ryan Parker, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2022 In that instance, the victim was able to escape and get help from her boyfriend who confronted Fiser, officials said. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for instance

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near instance

installment selling

instance

instance court

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Statistics for instance

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Instance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instance. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for instance

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

More from Merriam-Webster on instance

Nglish: Translation of instance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instance for Arabic Speakers

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