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

Keep scrolling for more

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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What the real Spice Girls think of the performance remains to be seen—someone please contact Geri Halliwell this instant! Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Chloe and Halle Channel the Spice Girls for the GLAAD Awards," 31 July 2020 In an instant, the Hargrove family found themselves in the midst of a Colombian epidemic -- the kidnap and ransom trade. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Sidewalk Film Festival 2020: 37 spots filled on lineup for drive-in event," 30 July 2020 Their children still can't fathom that the coronavirus pandemic took their parents away in what seemed like an instant. Ed Lavandera, CNN, "Coronavirus is ravaging entire South Texas families and medical teams," 29 July 2020 Many grizzlies bluff-charge, veering away at the last instant. Keith Mccafferty, Field & Stream, "What Should You Do If a Grizzly Bear Attacks?," 27 May 2020 Cincinnati has other players that can change a match in an instant, but Locadia is generally considered FCC's top scoring threat. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Jaap Stam: FC Cincinnati's Jürgen Locadia injured, could miss 'a couple of weeks'," 7 July 2020 The Monroe County man won the $4 million prize playing $150,000,000 Payout, a Michigan Lottery instant game, according to a Michigan Lottery news release. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Monroe County man wins $4 million jackpot a second time," 23 June 2020 This is the instant espresso Doshi uses — and loves — at home. Elizabeth Wallace, CNN Underscored, "6 ways to treat yourself to frozen coffee this summer," 6 July 2020 Grill over medium-high heat until grill marks appear, about 4 minutes; flip and grill for another 4 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 F. Top with cheese, if using, and immediately remove from grill. Erin Booke, Dallas News, "5 fan-favorite burger recipes from Texas chefs and more," 3 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The youth received an instant test at the hospital and has returned to the center, and the staff member is at home, Naughton said. Sarah Freishtat, chicagotribune.com, "Kane County Juvenile Justice Center youth resident, staff member test positive for COVID-19," 4 Aug. 2020 For savings at all Sandals Resorts, ‘instant credits’ up to $1,000 are applied upon booking. Melanie Reffes, USA TODAY, "Caribbean resort sales: Get the deals and entry requirements for Jamaica, USVI, more," 4 Aug. 2020 Although his performances in Portugal gave an indication of what was to come, such an instant impact took many by surprise. Ben Church, CNN, "How Bruno Fernandes transformed Manchester United's fortunes," 4 Aug. 2020 Bloomingdale’s has started letting customers shop by FaceTime, or even by phone call or instant message. Drew Hutchinson, Bloomberg.com, "Gucci, Jimmy Choo Do Luxury Version of Walmart Curbside Pickup," 3 Aug. 2020 This camera comes in several different colors and prints instant photos, which develop before your very eyes. Brittany Vincent, CNN Underscored, "5 retro tech products that are far from obsolete," 3 Aug. 2020 Services such as CreditWise that provide near-instant monitoring of scores also can be helpful, Brown said. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Beyond job losses, Americans face many types of coronavirus financial fallout. The impact will linger," 2 Aug. 2020 All Holland has to do to become an instant multimillionaire is shut up and tackle for 10 college games, then sink into the warm embrace of NFL superstardom. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "West Coast college kids stand up to Big Football," 2 Aug. 2020 That is a long-term project, not an instant solution. Krithika Varagur, The New York Review of Books, "Patrolling Minneapolis’s Native American History," 31 July 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about instant

Time Traveler for instant

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for instant

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instant. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for instant

instant

noun
How to pronounce instant (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up instant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!