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

Generative design promises to make parts of the process easier, but consider the instances in which generative design produced good results: GM’s seat belt bracket and NASA’s lander. Matthew Gault, Scientific American, "3-D Printers Could Help Spread Weapons of Mass Destruction," 10 Sep. 2019 To make that scale requires a different level of automation than spinning up a new cloud server instance. Rob Pegoraro, Ars Technica, "“Everything as a service” is coming—but we’re not there quite yet," 10 Sep. 2019 One one other such instance, Ridder seemed poised to challenge, Werner, but Wade came around from behind on a cornerback blitz for the strip-sack. Nathan Baird, cleveland.com, "How Ohio State football linebacker Pete Werner fared as the Bullet against Cincinnati | Buckeye Rewatch," 9 Sep. 2019 Because of the multiple instances, Heier noted the homeowner placed a trail cam in their yard. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "24 signs to support saving a 161-year-old Pewaukee church have been stolen or damaged, police say," 9 Sep. 2019 The notifications will also show people a map with instances when their location was requested. Ahiza Garcia, CNN, "Facebook tries to get ahead of upcoming iPhone privacy changes," 9 Sep. 2019 Sure, there have been instances past and present where a head coach will put in a package for the backup quarterback or insert the backup in certain situations. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "Dillon Gabriel, after leading UCF to a rout of FAU, is the new starting QB — or is he? | Commentary," 8 Sep. 2019 There have been a few instances in the show where how a character dresses has become a significant plot or explicitly become part of the dialogue. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, "‘Succession’ Costume Designer Shares the Inspiration Behind the Show’s Pitch-Perfect Corporate Wear," 8 Sep. 2019 Of course, there are instances where unethical behavior could be at play. Molly Burford, Glamour, "How to Break Up With Your Therapist," 6 Sep. 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

13 Sep 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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More from Merriam-Webster on instance

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for instance

Spanish Central: Translation of instance

Nglish: Translation of instance for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instance for Arabic Speakers

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