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

In an instant, the Green Berets raiding the compound, and the Taliban fighters holed up in it, faced the near certainty that someone wasn’t getting out of there alive. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "‘I Think I’ve Been Shot’: Nighttime Raid in Afghanistan Reveals New U.S. Strategy," 5 Dec. 2018 None of us are going to believe for an instant that Gov. Matt Bevin appointed the current state Board of Educaton for any reason other than to oust Stephen Pruitt, the old commissioner, and replace him with someone of his choosing. Joseph Gerth, The Courier-Journal, "Word to Kentucky's education commissioner: Don't take over JCPS — at least not yet," 30 Apr. 2018 Graham looked to the rolling Silvio De Sousa for an instant, before realizing Rashard Odomes sagged into the lane to take him. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "Here’s why one KU staffer kept pointing at Devonté Graham during Monday’s win," 20 Feb. 2018 Later, the couple headed to the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva to change for their evening engagement—a state dinner hosted by Fiji’s president—and the sight of Meghan’s gown will make all of your Disney princess dreams come true in an instant. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Decided Not To Wear a Tiara for Her First State Dinner," 23 Oct. 2018 Life can change in an instant so be present and enjoy every moment. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Tarek El Moussa Remembers Narrowly Escaping Route 91 Massacre: 'I Got Really Lucky'," 4 Oct. 2018 From bags, to dress, to shoes—anything that the former Suits actress wears is at risk of selling out in an instant. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Beats Meghan Markle to Win Top Royal Style Influencer Accolade," 3 Sep. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Her Turkey, Cranberry and Goat Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a real favorite and an instant Pinterest classic. Christine Byrne, SELF, "15 of the Best Healthy Food Bloggers to Follow on Pinterest," 11 Apr. 2018 British blogger Meera Sodha’s debut cookbook, Made in India, was an instant classic, creating authentic Indian flavors by using what most people have in the fridge. Christine Muhlke, Bon Appetit, "17 New Spring Cookbooks We Can’t Wait to Stain," 2 Apr. 2018 Black Panther is more than just a superhero film, the best movie of the year, an instant classic. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Black Panther Breakout Winston Duke Is Ready to Reset Hollywood," 4 Dec. 2018 The half-hour comedy looks to preserve the same deadpan humor and worldweary tone that made the original film an instant cult classic. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Vampires navigate NYC in first teasers for What We Do in the Shadows," 1 Nov. 2018 The difference in Saturday night’s instant classic of a Non-Public A state title game? Phil Anastasia, Philly.com, "Cole Vanderslice pitches St. Augustine to Non-Public A baseball state title," 9 June 2018 Far from an instant success, Lee spent years running errands for writers and adding filler copy before his big break came along. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Remembering Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics Legend, Dies at 95," 12 Nov. 2018 Progressive Democrats of America, which backed Democrats for all four Orange County seats, favors public financing of campaigns, a transaction tax on Wall Street, instant runoff voting and reducing the military budget. John Wildermuth, San Francisco Chronicle, "Is Orange County fertile ground for the left? California Dems are counting on it," 11 June 2018 So anybody with a smartphone has instant access to the kind of touch-ups that used to be reserved only for celebrities and models. Julia Belluz, Vox, "“Snapchat dysmorphia”: why people are getting plastic surgery to look like their edited photos," 10 Aug. 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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Learn More about instant

Statistics for instant

Last Updated

11 Dec 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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