instant

noun
in·​stant | \ ˈin(t)-stənt How to pronounce instant (audio) \

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 short, his Barcelona career looks to have come and gone in an instant. SI.com, "Malcom: What Could Have Been for the Barcelona Flop," 2 Aug. 2019 Both fighters started quickly with a series of good-looking exchanges, but Pacquiao changed the bout in an instant. Greg Beacham, The Denver Post, "Manny Pacquiao beats Keith Thurman by split decision," 21 July 2019 The rape happens in an instant, then keeps hanging in the air like a threatening storm cloud. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Reviews: Matthias Schoenaerts stars in ‘The Command’; plus ‘Nightmare Cinema’ and more," 20 June 2019 His impact on the crowd was hard to miss, with stands that had been mostly empty for other races during the day suddenly filling in an instant as his dragster was wheeled up to the track. Christian Simmons, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Big Daddy’ Don Garlits falls short of goal, but still sets record," 21 July 2019 But Barrientos learned on July 7 that life in his line of work could change in an instant. Dallas News, "For Dallas-area officers coping with trauma after July 7 ambush and other shootings, a focus on mental wellness," 7 July 2019 Spider-Man 2, for instance, made very clear that the slightest mishap could empty Peter’s bank account in an instant. Emily Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Spider-Man: Far From Home turns a class-conscious hero into a tech bro," 3 July 2019 Not least, Luchino taught him how to lose his temper explosively, effectively—and then, in an instant, be charming again. The Economist, "Obituary: Franco Zeffirelli died on June 15th," 21 June 2019 Now, anyone can download similar data sets in an instant. Allison Schrager, Quartz, "We have access to more data than ever—why do we get so much of it wrong?," 20 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Public outcry was instant and furious from many Alaskans, with economists and business groups saying the cuts would have a negative effect on the state’s economy. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "As Alaska’s budget uproar rolls on, a top Dunleavy adviser has seen it before," 24 July 2019 Tuesday was an instant classic, though one Twins fans might not want to revisit anytime soon after the team dropped a 14-12 roller coaster game in 10 innings to New York. Betsy Helfand, Twin Cities, "Baldelli slams ump after Twins blow three leads in 10-inning loss to Yankees," 24 July 2019 His success was instant, winning back-to-back La Liga titles, one as part of a domestic double in his first season. SI.com, "Louis van Gaal: The Stubborn Master Who Won 15 Major Trophies at 4 of the World's Greatest Clubs," 18 July 2019 Such was the Lyon forward's impact, she could be seen urging the Dutch fans to raise the decibels in the closing stages of the 90 minutes and their response was instant. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Netherlands will face US in Women's World Cup final after beating Sweden," 3 July 2019 Nobody knows if the latest chapter of Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal will be an instant classic, but their Friday semifinal certainly is priced that way on the secondary ticket market. Sam Farmer, latimes.com, "Wimbledon: Federer vs. Nadal could be a classic. It’ll cost ticket buyers $7,335 to find out," 11 July 2019 His twin location of Mabel’s BBQ are instant classics (and now the best BBQ in Las Vegas). Larry Olmstead, USA TODAY, "Great American Bites BBQ road trip: The country's best regional barbecue joints," 9 July 2019 Although the animated original was nominated for five Oscars and became an instant Disney classic, its reimagining three decades later has been lauded for the diversity of its cast and particularly for Smith’s comedic performance. Colleen Cronin, PEOPLE.com, "Will Smith Feels 'Humbled and Honored' After Aladdin Becomes the Biggest Movie of His Career," 1 July 2019 The first Men in Black film (1997) was an instant classic and pretty much cemented Will Smith's status as a mega-star. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Men in Black: International is a solid addition to the popular franchise," 14 June 2019

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

7 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce instant (audio) \

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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