instant messaging


: a means or system for transmitting electronic messages instantly
instant message noun or verb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In the past two years, my organization has implemented a communications platform that hosts video meetings, instant messaging, live chats, VoIP phone service, and online project collaboration. Karla L. Miller, Washington Post, 12 May 2022 Henderson was studying negotiation, with a twist: Participants negotiated through instant messaging rather than face-to-face. Marina Krakovsky, Discover Magazine, 14 Oct. 2013 The controversial instant messaging platform has seen rampant use by criminal syndicates and financial fraudsters, largely because it can be used anonymously and much of the data is encrypted. Justin Klawans, The Week, 21 Feb. 2023 But Grig highlights that increased reliance on technology in the workplace can reinforce an ‘always on’ mentality if instant messaging services are constantly accessible and leaders are active at all hours, thereby exacerbating the stress of their team. Sally Percy, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 According to charging documents, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office received a cybertip on March 30 that had been reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children by the instant messaging service Kik, which reported that a user uploaded multiple files of child pornography. Bob Blubaugh,, 31 May 2021 SmartPlus communicates with the intercom using the session initiation protocol, an open standard used for real-time communications such as voice and video calls, instant messaging, and games. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 9 Mar. 2023 One of the main shortcomings of Morse code identified nowadays is its slow pace in an age of instant messaging. Larry Kahaner, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Jan. 2023 Specifically, M, who was interviewed with one of their parents under the condition that only the first letter of their name be used, said they were harassed on Discord, a free instant messaging and group chat platform popular among teens. NBC News, 19 Apr. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'instant messaging.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1995, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of instant messaging was in 1995

Dictionary Entries Near instant messaging

Cite this Entry

“Instant messaging.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

instant messaging

instant mes·​sag·​ing
: a means or system for transmitting electronic messages instantly
instant message noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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