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 instantaneous (audio) , ˌin(t)-​stən-​tə-​ˈnē-​ \ noun
instantaneously \ ˌin(t)-​stən-​ˈtā-​nē-​əs-​lē How to pronounce instantaneous (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 Transactions completed through online brokers such as Robinhood appear to be instantaneous to users, but most transactions actually take days to be settled, and brokers rely on market clearing houses to complete them. Tyler Van Dyke, Washington Examiner, "Robinhood raises $2.4B over the weekend in fundraising blitz," 1 Feb. 2021 The transition will be neither instantaneous nor easy; as of November, 74 million American voters still supported Trump. Judy Berman, Time, "Donald Trump's Presidency Was Supposed to Be Great for Art. It Wasn't," 5 Jan. 2021 Specifically, Matheson adds egg yolks, which gives the sauce an almost instantaneous unctuousness and creaminess. Kate Krader,, "A Star Chef Breaks the Rules With a One-Hour Bolognese Sauce," 15 Jan. 2021 Pose with a fashionable cause and the reward is instantaneous. Madeleine Kearns, National Review, "The Appalling Hypocrisy of Woke Corporations," 29 Dec. 2020 What the restaurant served was thinner, sweeter and more immediate in its flavor, instantaneous in its gratification. New York Times, "No One Loves Arby’s Like I Do," 15 Dec. 2020 But for non-professionals who’ve come to expect instantaneous trades from their computers or phones, outages are a shock, and a potentially expensive one. Fortune, "Pandemic-fueled day trading is overwhelming online brokers—and the traders are fuming," 9 Dec. 2020 The method developed to facilitate this instantaneous access to all contents of individual minds within the collaborative framework was straightforward, using technology developed long before humanity uploaded to its present platform. Lettie Prell, Wired, "The Future of Work: ‘Collaborative Configurations of Minds’ by Lettie Prell," 4 Dec. 2020 Director Steven Spielberg summed up the rugged Scotsman's instantaneous worldwide impact when presenting Connery with his American Film Institute lifetime achievement award in 2006. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Sean Connery, who defined the role of 'James Bond' for a generation, dies at 90, reports say," 31 Oct. 2020

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

10 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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