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

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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 The protests were instantaneous; there was chanting (though, to be fair, there always is), shirt burning, and signs. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 8 Oct. 2021 But this process isn’t instantaneous, and if the coronavirus can establish itself in the nose and mouth quickly enough, the immune system may not respond fast enough to bar the gates. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2021 The good news is that in Boost mode acceleration is instantaneous. Brooke Crothers, Forbes, 26 Sep. 2021 The transformation was as instantaneous as it was pronounced. Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021 The exterior environment of space, of course, represents instantaneous death, what with the killing cold and the absence of any atmosphere. Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 2 Apr. 2021 Taking a chance on an up-and-coming designer paid off for Karen; the connection was instantaneous. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 13 Sep. 2021 There were the erratic Instagram posts from the corporate account, the sudden termination of key partnerships, and the instantaneous firings and C-suite resignations. Jessica Mathews, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2021 According to the announcement, the experience will include: A dynamic setlist that gives users in each concert the ability to control the order of songs performed through instantaneous voting once the concert begins. Jem Aswad, Variety, 8 Sep. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for instantaneous

Time Traveler

The first known use of instantaneous was in 1651

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Dictionary Entries Near instantaneous



instantaneous exposure

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Statistics for instantaneous

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instantaneous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for instantaneous



English Language Learners Definition of instantaneous

: happening very quickly : happening in an instant


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


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