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

Meanwhile, some credit metrics, such as leverage ratios and earnings per share measures, will appear weaker in certain instances. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "CFOs Overhaul Performance Measures in Response to New Accounting Rules," 2 May 2019 In most instances, this means camp is about the theatrical, the synthetic, and the bizarre—all of which are excellent ideas to bring into your accessories this spring. Vogue, "Some Notes on Spring’s Campiest Accessories," 10 Apr. 2019 In San Diego the passing of the jag king was the signal for a hilarious celebration, lasting, in many instances, until the wee hours of this morning. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 1, 1919: Prohibition begins," 1 July 2018 And at least in this one instance, Notre Dame finally catches a break. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "Rebuilding History: How 21st-Century Tech Can Save Medieval Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 In one instance, a grand jury in Texas declined to indict Planned Parenthood and instead filed charges against the pair for using fake driver’s licenses to get into Planned Parenthood meetings. Paul Elias, The Seattle Times, "California judge will keep Planned Parenthood names sealed," 11 Feb. 2019 In one instance, a shipment of a harmful fungus was lost — and, according to the FBI, destroyed — in transit. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 In one instance, a woman in an outrigger reported something biting her canoe. Gary Warth, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Three possible shark sightings reported off Oceanside in past week," 3 July 2018 In one instance, the FBI alleged a plan was hatched to pay $100,000 to the father of Louisville five-star recruit Brian Bowen in an attempt to steer him to Louisville and then sign with Adidas and certain advisers as a professional. Justin Sayers, The Courier-Journal, "Drake takes swipe at Louisville, Rick Pitino on new 'Scorpion' album," 29 June 2018

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

10 May 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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Britannica English: Translation of instance for Arabic Speakers

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