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 Instead of calling in like participants did for telethons, viewers funnel donations through a digital pipeline that makes the fundraising process instantaneous. Washington Post, "Livestreams are the new telethons, and they’re raising millions for charities," 24 Dec. 2019 New techniques have enabled AI systems to do things that would have been impossible just a few years ago, from writing stories to creating fake faces to, most relevantly to LAWS, making instantaneous tactical decisions in online war games. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Death by algorithm: the age of killer robots is closer than you think," 21 June 2019 To ensure the safety of self-driving vehicles (and their passengers), that communication needs to be instantaneous. Clare Duffy, CNN, "The big differences between 4G and 5G," 17 Jan. 2020 What's more, the value of each qubit affects the value of other qubits in the system, opening the door to nearly instantaneous solutions instead of having to process information in a serial fashion. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "Microsoft Quantum Algorithm Boosts Medical Imaging," 15 July 2019 One of his most famous design features is the Emerson Wave, a protruding notch on the blade spine that, when caught on the corner of a pocket as the knife is drawn, allows for nearly instantaneous deployment. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "The Best 25 Knives Ever Made," 16 Feb. 2019 Welcome to coaching in an age of instantaneous social media. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville coach Chris Mack isn't bothered by criticism ... and he also doesn't deserve it," 6 Jan. 2020 His curiosity about minimalism, then, reads like a response to a time when everyone is bombarded with digital information, superfluous gadgets, and online advertising designed to compel instantaneous purchases. Arielle Pardes, Wired, "Live Your Best Life—On and Off Your Phone—in 2020," 6 Jan. 2020 The Buckeyes aren’t viewing this as the bang-bang nature of the game, the split-second decisions foisted upon humans in stripes who in their instantaneous assessments determine the futures and legacies of players and programs. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State’s Fiesta Bowl loss to Clemson will live in anger," 29 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for instantaneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of instantaneous was in 1651

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Statistics for instantaneous

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for instantaneous


How to pronounce instantaneous (audio)

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

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