in·​stant·​ly | \ ˈin(t)-stənt-lē How to pronounce instantly (audio) \

Definition of instantly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : without the least delay : immediately
2 : with importunity : urgently



Definition of instantly (Entry 2 of 2)

: as soon as he ran across the grass instantly he perceived his mother— W. M. Thackeray

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Examples of instantly in a Sentence

Adverb His voice is instantly recognizable. They instantly fell in love. She was killed instantly when her car hit a tree. Conjunction we realized there would be problems instantly we saw the final report
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The coronavirus crisis instantly turned traveler attention to all things health and safety, with the latest flash point being how to effectively social distance at 35,000 feet. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Freaked out about full flights during a pandemic? These airlines are still blocking seats – for now," 2 July 2020 Video of the scene instantly went viral, at one point even being retweeted — and then deleted — by President Trump., "Boston Globe video," 1 July 2020 Health spoke with several experts on how to relieve stress nearly instantly or over time using a variety of methods. Taylyn Washington-harmon,, "How to Relieve Stress, According to Experts," 1 July 2020 Pininfarina drew a perfect, instantly glamorous wedge shape and didn't add a single bad line. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "The Greatest Cars of All Time: The Seventies," 30 June 2020 White said at their first event the girls instantly felt intimidated. Dallas News, "South Dallas dance group confronts racism, George Floyd’s death by filming video against police brutality," 29 June 2020 The mother was killed instantly, and the daughter died later at a hospital. Washington Post, "Local Digest: Man found slain in Southeast D.C., police say," 29 June 2020 The parent company's name might not be instantly recognizable, but the brands its operates are. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, "These mall staples announced thousands of store closures in June," 27 June 2020 Stories about Jalen Hurts, Blake Sims, AJ McCarron and Tua Tagovailoa instantly pop up. Mark Inabinett |, al, "How does Tua Tagovailoa deal with social-media trolls?," 25 June 2020

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1793, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for instantly

Time Traveler

The first known use of instantly was in the 15th century

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Statistics for instantly

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instantly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for instantly


How to pronounce instantly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of instantly

: without delay


in·​stant·​ly | \ ˈin-stənt-lē How to pronounce instantly (audio) \

Kids Definition of instantly

: without delay : immediately

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Comments on instantly

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


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