- The definition of instant is something that is urgent or happens immediately.
- An example of instant is an answer received very quickly, an instant response.
- An example of instant is oatmeal that has been pre-cooked and dried for very quick cooking, instant oatmeal.
instant definition by Webster's New World
- urgent; pressing
- soon to happen; imminent
- without delay; immediate: to demand instant obedience
- designating a food or beverage in readily soluble, concentrated, or precooked form, that can be prepared quickly, as by adding water
- Archaic present; current
Origin: Late Middle English ; from Middle French ; from Classical Latin instans, present participle of instare, to stand upon or near, press ; from in-, in, upon plush stare, to stand
- Old Poet. at once; instantly
- Old-fashioned (in the) present (month): yours of the 13th (day) instant received
- a point or very short space of time; moment
- a particular moment
instant definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- An almost imperceptible space of time. See Synonyms at moment.
- A particular or precise time: at the instant of combustion.
- Abbr. inst. The current month: your letter of the 15th instant.
- A food or beverage designed for quick preparation.
- Occurring at once; immediate: instant gratification.
- Imperative; urgent: an instant need.
- Now under consideration; present.
- a. Commercially prepared or processed for quick and easy final preparation: an instant cake mix.b. Readily soluble in water: instant coffee; instant powdered milk.c. Appearing, done, or taking place with or as if with maximum quickness and ease: “She had the gift of instant intimacy” (Sylvia Jukes Morris).
Origin: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin īnstāns, īnstant-, present, present participle of īnstāre, to approach : in-, on; see in-2 + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
- inˈstant·ness noun
instant - Phrases/Idioms
on the instant