- Instance is defined as an occurrence of something, or a specific situation, happening or event.
An example of instance is a specific situation in which bad judgment is expressed; it is an instance of bad judgment.
- Archaic an urgent plea; persistent solicitation
- an example; case; illustration
- a step in proceeding; occasion or case: in the first instance
- Obsolete a motive; cause
- Obsolete a token or sign
- a detail or circumstance
- Law a process or proceeding in a court; suit
Origin of instanceMiddle English instaunce ; from Old French instance ; from Classical Latin instantia, a standing upon or near, being present ; from instans: see instant
at the instance of
- a. An example that is cited to prove or invalidate a contention or illustrate a point. See Synonyms at example.b. A case or an occurrence: In all such instances, let conscience be your guide.
- A step in a process or series of events: You should apply in the first instance to the personnel manager.
- a. A suggestion or request: called at the instance of his attorney.b. Archaic Urgent solicitation or entreaty.
transitive verbin·stanced, in·stanc·ing, in·stanc·es
- To offer as an example; cite: “I assured her that I was interested in garbage, and instanced the fact that I had once been a garbage inspector myself” (Jane Addams).
- To demonstrate or show by an example; exemplify: “how absurd it often is to cite a single line from &ellipsis; a poem for the purpose of instancing the perfection or imperfection of the line's rhythm” (Edgar Allan Poe).
Origin of instanceMiddle English instaunce, from Old French instance, request, instant, and from Medieval Latin īnstantia, example, both from Latin, presence, from īnstāns, īnstant-, present; see instant.
- Sir Walter Scott
- […] undertook at her instance to restore them.
- Occasion; order of occurrence.
- A case offered as an exemplification or a precedent; an illustrative example. [from 16th c.]
- One of a series of recurring occasions, cases, essentially the same.
- (computing) In object-oriented programming: a created object, one that has had memory allocated for local data storage; an instantiation of a class. [from 20th c.]
- (massively multiplayer online games) A dungeon or other area that is duplicated for each player, or each party of players, that enters it, so that each player or party has a private copy of the area, isolated from other players.
- (massively multiplayer online games) An individual copy of such a dungeon or other area.
(third-person singular simple present instances, present participle instancing, simple past and past participle instanced)
instance - Computer Definition
(1) A single copy of a running program. Multiple instances of a program mean that the program has been loaded into memory several times.
(2) In object technology, a member of a class; for example, "Lassie" is an instance of the class "dog." When an instance is created, the initial values of its instance variables are assigned.