instant

noun
in·stant | \ˈin(t)-stənt \

Definition of instant 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an infinitesimal space of time especially : a point in time separating two states at the instant of death

2 : the present or current month

instant

adjective

Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : produced or occurring with or as if with extreme rapidity and ease

2 : immediate, direct the play was an instant success

3a(1) : premixed or precooked for easy final preparation instant pudding

(2) : appearing in or as if in ready-to-use form instant poetry

b : immediately soluble in water instant coffee

4a : present, current previous felonies not related to the instant crime

b : of or occurring in the present month abbreviation inst

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Other Words from instant

Adjective

instantness noun

Examples of instant in a Sentence

Noun

For an instant, I forgot where I was. The ride was over in an instant.

Adjective

The movie was an instant hit. He became an instant celebrity with the publication of his first novel. We got an instant response from the company. The Internet provides instant access to an enormous amount of information. Is this coffee instant or regular?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Propitiously located near an emerging manufacturing hub anchored by GM’s new plant in Van Nuys, Panorama City was an instant hit with former GIs and their families. Scott Garner, latimes.com, "Neighborhood Spotlight: Panorama City is slowly shaking off its postindustrial trauma," 16 June 2018 So, my brother took off the leash, and in that instant, the dog spotted a cat. refinery29.com, "I Have a New Favorite Westworld Character & It’s Ford’s Very Good Boy," 4 June 2018 What is the time like in that instant? HARRIS: Yes. Fox News, "Purple Heart recipient helps veterans battle opioid abuse," 29 May 2018 In that instant, Vonn was leading the race, the women's Alpine combined. Bill Pennington, Anchorage Daily News, "No storybook ending for Vonn, but Shiffrin wins silver in Alpine combined," 23 Feb. 2018 Thus came Atlanta, which debuted in 2016 and was an instant hit with critics and viewers. David Burton, Esquire, "Donald Glover Has Always Been Ten Steps Ahead," 7 Feb. 2018 Displaying speed, agility and an aggressive nature that belied his quiet personality, Zach Cunningham was an instant hit for the Texans' defense. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans linebacker Zach Cunningham shined in rookie season," 12 Jan. 2018 Check out its many electric appliances like the trendy instant pot that will save mom time in the kitchen. chicagotribune.com, "Find the perfect Mother’s Day gift at historic Market Square," 1 May 2018 But my decision to care for him at home was made in an instant. Judith Newman, New York Times, "He’s Going Back to His Former Wife. Sort Of.," 29 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Playing under the roof — precisely the way Friday night ended for them — Djokovic and Nadal assembled an instant classic on a day when the women's final typically has the main stage to itself. Sam Farmer, courant.com, "Djokovic Wins Another Marathon, Defeating Nadal In Wimbledon Semifinal," 14 July 2018 And that final episode — Paige got off the train! — was an instant classic, both surprising and satisfying. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmys 2018: Five races we'll be watching when nominations are announced," 9 July 2018 Sofar Sounds also recently launched an app available for Apple and Android phones that allows users to bypass the waiting list and receive instant tickets. Grace Dickinson, Philly.com, "Secret concert series Sofar Sounds is growing too big for the living room," 27 June 2018 Unless, of course, a particular establishment has produced such an instant classic that its patrons threaten to defect if that salad changes or is retired. Bonnie S. Benwick, charlotteobserver, "You don’t need romaine lettuce to make a great chopped salad | Charlotte Observer," 1 May 2018 And even better — this protection applies to coffee consumers of any kind, including decaf and instant coffee fans. Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE.com, "Coffee Drinkers Are Less Likely to Die Early, Says New Study," 3 July 2018 Turn off the podcasts and put away the platitudes and instant affirmations, and go out into the world and walk your own streets. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes July 2-8," 29 June 2018 Corporate users today tend to use Slack, while Skype is another popular alternative, letting users both send instant messages and make free calls as well. Chris Morris, Fortune, "AIM Phoenix: Revival of the Once-Popular Messaging Service or Digital Zombie?," 27 June 2018 Ariza’s pinpoint passing, too, was perhaps at least as surprising as his sharpshooting and instant offense that got things rolling for the Rockets early. Brent Zwerneman, San Francisco Chronicle, "Trevor Ariza provides a big lift early to propel Rockets," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instant.' 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 instant

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for instant

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin instant-, instans, from instant-, instans, adjective, instant, from Latin

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin instant-, instans, from present participle of instare to stand upon, urge, from in- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Statistics for instant

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instant

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

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More Definitions for instant

instant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of instant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very short period of time

instant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

: becoming something very quickly

: happening or done without delay

of food : able to be made very quickly : partially prepared by the manufacturer so that final preparation is quick and easy

instant

noun
in·stant | \ˈin-stənt \

Kids Definition of instant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very short time : moment I'll be back in an instant.

instant

adjective

Kids Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : happening or done right away The play was an instant success.

2 : partially prepared by the manufacturer to make final preparation easy instant pudding

instant

adjective
in·stant

Legal Definition of instant 

: being under present consideration the questions presented in the instant case

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More from Merriam-Webster on instant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for instant

Spanish Central: Translation of instant

Nglish: Translation of instant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on instant

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