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

Definition of instantly

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



Definition of instantly (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of instantly in a Sentence


His voice is instantly recognizable. They instantly fell in love. She was killed instantly when her car hit a tree.


we realized there would be problems instantly we saw the final report
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

With its green foil lid and stout container, this sweet, banana-flavored milk is instantly recognizable, its silhouette designed to resemble traditional onggi jars. Dami Lee, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Yakult, ramen or Asian pears: What does your H Mart purchase say about you?," 1 July 2019 Sudyka’s renderings of the finished T. rex skeleton and the exterior of the Field Museum are instantly recognizable to even the littlest Chicagoans — and that’s a lot of the entertainment value here. Jennifer Day,, "Parents already love ‘The Rabbit Listened.’ How’s the author’s follow-up?," 24 June 2019 The iconic sandstone buttes that dot the valley floor can mostly be accessed or viewed inside Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which—though instantly recognizable—has many fewer visitors annually than the nearby Grand Canyon. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, "Photos: The Moods of Monument Valley," 18 June 2019 But to anyone who saw Russians rebel in the final years of the Soviet Union, the grim, fearless energy of these protests is instantly recognizable. Leonid Bershidsky, Twin Cities, "Leonid Bershidsky: Russia after Vladimir Putin," 5 June 2019 The Louvre pyramid remains among the most instantly recognizable architectural works of the past half-century. Martin Filler, The New York Review of Books, "I.M. Pei: Establishment Modernism Lite," 24 May 2019 For the London studio Established & Sons, designer Philippe Malouin created this instantly recognizable, exceptionally comfortable throne entirely out of a high-density polyurethane foam. Monica Khemsurov,, "Maximize Your Comfort With a Puffy Armchair That’s Large and in Charge," 10 Apr. 2019 However, in my early college years, a model named Cara Delevingne stepped onto the scene, instantly becoming industry royalty — with spectacular brows in tow. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "How Makeup Taught Me to Celebrate My Naturally Thick Brows," 24 June 2019 With Anthony Davis no longer in New Orleans, Zion Williamson instantly becomes the face of the Pelicans. Michael Shapiro,, "Zion Mania in Full Effect as Pelicans Kick Off New Era," 20 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of instantly


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1793, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about instantly

Statistics for instantly

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instantly

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for instantly



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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!