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 And because transactions are automated, settlement is virtually instantaneous, removing some of the traditional counterparty risk. Paul Vigna, WSJ, 3 June 2021 Fatigue cracks occur when metals experience thousands or even millions of cycles of stress -- namely, the instantaneous change in stress conditions when a vehicle passes over it. Adel Abdelnaby, CNN, 17 May 2021 Residents and business owners who want to test the air around their homes and their businesses can pick up an instantaneous testing canister at the fire station at 7036 Main St. in Newtown after calling 513-688-8093. Jeanne Houck,, 6 May 2021 The Evija's straight-line performance is outside normal frames of reference, both in terms of its instantaneous savagery and the lack of drama that accompanies it. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, 27 Apr. 2021 While the sci-fi show’s replicator – an instantaneous microwave of sorts – could produce almost any edible thing, the arena’s system will focus on Whalen’s Fahrenheit menu. Marc Bona, cleveland, 21 Apr. 2021 Hobbs says that at the time, the painting’s gradual four-scene change didn’t work with a technological update to the ride that created crisper, more instantaneous two-slide transformations. Todd Martens Game Critic, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2021 Geometric painted floor tiles, an instantaneous way to jazz up a drab room. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, 7 Apr. 2021 Now, more than ever before, the financial services industry has an opportunity to reshape its architecture to make payments accessible to more people and to enable transactions that are instantaneous, efficient, low cost and most of all, secure. Dan Schulman, Fortune, 30 Mar. 2021

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 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 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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