- 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.
- 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 of instantLate Middle English ; from Middle French ; from Classical Latin instans, present participle of instare, to stand upon or near, press ; from in-, in, upon + 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
on the instant
- A period of time so short as to be almost imperceptible. 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. Appearing, done, or taking place with great quickness and ease: “She had the gift of instant intimacy” (Sylvia Jukes Morris).c. Quickly and easily resolved or determined: instant lottery tickets.
Origin of instantMiddle 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.
- A very short period of time; a moment.
- She paused for only an instant, which was just enough time for John to change the subject.
- A single, usually precise, point in time.
- The instant the alarm went off, he fled the building.
- An instant beverage or food, especially instant coffee.
- The current month (abbreviated as: inst.)
- In response to your letter of the twenty-first instant...
From Middle English instant (“infinitely short period of time”), from Old French instant (“assiduous, at hand”, adj), from Latin instans, instant- (“present, pressing, urgent”, literally “standing near”), from in + stāre (“to stand”). Compare Old English instede (“immediately, on the spot, at once”). More at in, stand.
- (dated) Impending; imminent.
- (dated) Urgent; pressing; acute.
- Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
- Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
- Very quickly and easily prepared.
- instant coffee
- Of the current month (abbreviation inst.).
- “I refer to your letter of the 16th inst. in regard to traffic disruption”
- (poetic) At once; immediately.