in·​stan·​ta·​neous | \ ˌin(t)-stən-ˈtā-nē-əs How to pronounce instantaneous (audio) , -nyəs\

Definition of instantaneous

1 : done, occurring, or acting without any perceptible duration of time death was instantaneous
2 : done without any delay being purposely introduced took instantaneous corrective action
3 : occurring or present at a particular instant instantaneous velocity

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Other Words from instantaneous

instantaneity \ ˌin-​ˌstan-​tə-​ˈnē-​ə-​tē How to pronounce instantaneity (audio) , ˌin(t)-​stən-​tə-​ˈnē-​ \ noun
instantaneously \ ˌin(t)-​stən-​ˈtā-​nē-​əs-​lē How to pronounce instantaneously (audio) , -​nyəs-​lē \ adverb
instantaneousness noun

Examples of instantaneous in a Sentence

We got an almost instantaneous response from the company. the thunder following the flash of lightning was nearly instantaneous

Recent Examples on the Web

The reaction by bourbon fans was instantaneous, with many asking on social media whether the fire would bump up the price of their favorite drink. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Bourbon expert: Jim Beam fire not good for image in industry built on consumer confidence," 3 July 2019 While people have long been able to digitally manipulate photos, DeepNude made that ability instantaneous and available to anyone. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Controversial deepfake app DeepNude shuts down hours after being exposed," 27 June 2019 Recent pathology results confirm that the giraffe did pass as a result of the lightning and that the manner of their passing was instantaneous. Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Lightning strike kills two giraffes at a popular Florida attraction," 11 June 2019 The response from the creator community was instantaneous. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Creators aren’t surprised that YouTube won’t enforce its own policies against harassment," 5 June 2019 As expected, the memes were nearly instantaneous, with an abundance of aptly placed KUWTK gifs. Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian-West and Kanye West Name Their New Baby Psalm West," 17 May 2019 Response times are nearly instantaneous, and motion interpolation is great, which means the vast majority of content looks smooth and largely free of blur when things are moving onscreen. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Holiday Gift Guide 2018—good tech for the power user in your life," 4 Dec. 2018 Others say quantitative easing has suppressed the volatility these funds enjoy, or that the near-instantaneous distribution of news via the internet means investors react quicker and trends, therefore, don’t last as long. Laurence Fletcher, WSJ, "The Big Hedge-Fund Strategy That Isn’t Working," 26 Aug. 2018 Both kits work indicate lead by changing colors, which makes results instantaneous and easy-to-read. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "How to Test for Lead Paint in Your Home," 22 Apr. 2016

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

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for instantaneous

Medieval Latin instantaneus, from instant-, instans, noun

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Statistics for instantaneous

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instantaneous

The first known use of instantaneous was in 1651

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More Definitions for instantaneous



English Language Learners Definition of instantaneous

: happening very quickly : happening in an instant


in·​stan·​ta·​neous | \ ˌin-stən-ˈtā-nē-əs How to pronounce instantaneous (audio) \

Kids Definition of instantaneous

: happening or done very quickly : happening in an instant an instantaneous reply

Other Words from instantaneous

instantaneously adverb

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Comments on instantaneous

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


to complain fretfully

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