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

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 Trailblazers Cutting-edge research on pigs is showing that death in cells isn’t instantaneous. Katie Hunt, CNN, 6 Aug. 2022 Her energy is so different from Tom’s, and their chemistry was instantaneous. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 6 Aug. 2022 The slap’s near-instantaneous minting into coin didn’t come as a surprise. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2022 When food hits a hot oven, a near-instantaneous series of reactions and transformations occur due to the heat. Shilpa Uskokovic, Bon Appétit, 3 Mar. 2022 Thanks to modern technology, our experiences are often instantaneous. Scott Stephenson, Forbes, 26 May 2022 The effects are instantaneous: smooth, clear skin that glows. ELLE, 18 May 2022 Flowing water can produce reliable and instantaneous power in a way that solar or wind energy cannot, and its output helps the grid manage usage spikes, like those that occur routinely in the evenings. Nick Bowlin, Outside Online, 4 May 2022 Backing up a bit, Autonomous Ultra Instinct is an ability that allows the user an automatic and instantaneous reaction to any threat. Ollie Barder, Forbes, 10 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About instantaneous

Time Traveler for instantaneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of instantaneous was in 1651

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near instantaneous



instantaneous exposure

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for instantaneous

Last Updated

9 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for instantaneous


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

More from Merriam-Webster on instantaneous

Nglish: Translation of instantaneous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instantaneous for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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