instant

noun
in·​stant | \ ˈin(t)-stənt How to pronounce instant (audio) \

Definition of instant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an infinitesimal space of time especially : a point in time separating two states at the instant of death
2 : the present or current month

instant

adjective

Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : produced or occurring with or as if with extreme rapidity and ease
2 : immediate, direct the play was an instant success
3a(1) : premixed or precooked for easy final preparation instant pudding
(2) : appearing in or as if in ready-to-use form instant poetry
b : immediately soluble in water instant coffee
4a : present, current previous felonies not related to the instant crime
b : of or occurring in the present month abbreviation inst

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Other Words from instant

Adjective

instantness noun

Examples of instant in a Sentence

Noun For an instant, I forgot where I was. The ride was over in an instant. Adjective The movie was an instant hit. He became an instant celebrity with the publication of his first novel. We got an instant response from the company. The Internet provides instant access to an enormous amount of information. Is this coffee instant or regular?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In an instant, the teenagers were thrust into the troubles of adulthood in a country that is coming apart at the seams, Mireille said. Washington Post, "For Beirut’s traumatized survivors, days of waking nightmares and nights of troubled dreams," 10 Sep. 2020 Many of Mary’s speculations about motives and feelings become, in an instant, the basis of causal inferences. Anne Diebel, The New York Review of Books, "Trumps on the Couch," 8 Sep. 2020 She may be graduated by the time biologists understand the consequences of the Turkey Farm Road Fire, sparked in an instant. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Biologists survey wildfire destruction on Utah tortoise habitat," 6 Sep. 2020 History also shows that a foreign crisis or terror attack can vault the Pentagon to prominence in an instant. Tom Vanden Brook, USA TODAY, "What a Biden win or four more years of Trump would mean for the military," 4 Sep. 2020 In an instant, William 25X Bradley, a member of the Newark mosque of the Nation of Islam, charged the stage in a slight crouch from the fourth row. Les Payne, The New Yorker, "The Day Malcolm X Was Killed," 27 Aug. 2020 Because like everything else Supreme touches, this single red lipstick—the first-ever beauty collaboration from the ultra-hyped brand—is sure to sell out in an instant. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Supreme x Pat McGrath Red Lipstick Will Sell Out Instantly," 17 Aug. 2020 In an instant, Anita Moore was no longer working from home in her upstairs bedroom. Colin Campbell, baltimoresun.com, "‘I should not have been able to walk away': Northwest Baltimore woman saved by ‘amazing’ neighbors after gas explosion," 12 Aug. 2020 The explosions that ripped through Beirut Tuesday, leaving at least 135 people dead and thousands injured, altered in an instant the face of the Mediterranean city. Washington Post, "After the blast: Satellite images show destruction in Beirut," 5 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective When Malik Hooker went down with an injury in the first half, Blackmon entered the game and made an instant impact. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Rookies, run game, defense carry Colts in 28-11 blowout of Vikings," 20 Sep. 2020 Zach Chatham became an instant national celebrity this month. al, "Former Nick Saban assistant uses Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in Yellowstone wedding proposal," 20 Sep. 2020 Even a rubber-stamp Senate can’t put together instant confirmation hearings. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Can Senate Democrats Run Out the Clock on Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee?," 19 Sep. 2020 The kitchen includes instant hot water, an island without a cooktop, a pantry and under-cabinet lighting, as well as a convection and an electric oven. Emilia Benton, Houston Chronicle, "River Oaks home offers Southern colonial style, modern flair," 19 Sep. 2020 But instant-result testing is not foolproof, nor does a game-day test necessarily clear someone of infection. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "College football’s priorities are clear, and that’s depressing," 18 Sep. 2020 But within the brutal gang society, young artists who might never make it to the mainstream obtain instant stardom in a mostly underground hip-hop music industry that is fueled by violence and promoted on social media and YouTube. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: FBG Duck brought a street fight between the ‘have-nots’ into the turf controlled by the ‘haves’," 18 Sep. 2020 That, combined with the still-all-too-rare casting of a woman of color as a romantic lead, works to make the movie feel like an instant rom-com classic. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The Broken Hearts Gallery," 10 Sep. 2020 Wednesday’s doubleheader produced another instant classic, as the Raptors avoided elimination and forced a Game 7 with a 125-122 double-overtime win over the Celtics. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Trail Blazers’ future, Raptors force Game 7, NBA Draft change, Doris Burke to make history: Playoffs news and notes," 10 Sep. 2020

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 5

History and Etymology for instant

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin instant-, instans, from instant-, instans, adjective, instant, from Latin

Adjective

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin instant-, instans, from present participle of instare to stand upon, urge, from in- + stare to stand — more at stand

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Time Traveler for instant

Time Traveler

The first known use of instant was in the 14th century

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Statistics for instant

Last Updated

23 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/instant. Accessed 29 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for instant

instant

noun
How to pronounce instant (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of instant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very short period of time

instant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

: becoming something very quickly
: happening or done without delay
of food : able to be made very quickly : partially prepared by the manufacturer so that final preparation is quick and easy

instant

noun
in·​stant | \ ˈin-stənt How to pronounce instant (audio) \

Kids Definition of instant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very short time : moment I'll be back in an instant.

instant

adjective

Kids Definition of instant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : happening or done right away The play was an instant success.
2 : partially prepared by the manufacturer to make final preparation easy instant pudding

instant

adjective
in·​stant

Legal Definition of instant

: being under present consideration the questions presented in the instant case

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Comments on instant

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