instantaneous

adjective

in·​stan·​ta·​neous ˌin(t)-stən-ˈtā-nē-əs How to pronounce instantaneous (audio)
-nyəs
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
instantaneity
ˌin-ˌstan-tə-ˈnē-ə-tē How to pronounce instantaneous (audio)
ˌin(t)-stən-tə-ˈnē-
noun
instantaneously 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 Two miles down, where seawater exerts vast pressures, an implosion would have made the violent collapse of the vehicle’s hull instantaneous. William J. Broad, New York Times, 10 June 2024 Disease transmission is generally not instantaneous. Maria Masters, Health, 9 June 2024 Topping the instantaneous word-of-mouth hit 28 Days was always going to be a tricky proposition, but the sequel lives up to the horrific spirit of the original. Eric Vilas-Boas, Vulture, 12 Apr. 2024 After the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon, Iran’s rapid delivery of aid enabled Hezbollah to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and outmaneuver the Lebanese government by providing instantaneous compensation and rebuilding programs. Suzanne Maloney, Foreign Affairs, 8 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for instantaneous 

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

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Medieval Latin instantāneus, from instant-, instans "moment, point of time," + Latin -āneus, suffix forming adjectives from temporal adverbs — more at instant entry 1

Note: Regarding the suffix -āneus see the etymology and note at spontaneous.

First Known Use

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of instantaneous was in 1651

Dictionary Entries Near instantaneous

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instantaneous. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

instantaneous

adjective
in·​stan·​ta·​neous ˌin(t)-stən-ˈtā-nē-əs How to pronounce instantaneous (audio)
-nyəs
1
: happening in an instant
2
: done without delay
instantaneously adverb
instantaneousness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on instantaneous

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