instant

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

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.

Noun[edit]

instant ‎(plural instants)

  1. 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.
  2. A single, usually precise, point in time.
    • The instant the alarm went off, he fled the building.
  3. An instant beverage or food, especially instant coffee.
  4. A day of the current month (abbreviated as: inst.)
    • In response to your letter of the twenty-first instant...
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old French and French instant, from Latin instans ‎(standing by, being near, present, also urgent, importunate), present participle of instare ‎(to stand upon, press upon, urge, pursue, insist), from in ‎(on, upon) + stare ‎(to stand); see state.

Adjective[edit]

instant ‎(not comparable)

  1. (dated) Impending; imminent.
    • Prior
      Impending death is thine, and instant doom.
  2. (dated) Urgent; pressing; acute.
    • Bible, Rom. xii. 12
      Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
    • Carlyle
      I am beginning to be very instant for some sort of occupation.
  3. Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
    • Fuller
      The instant time is always the fittest time.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Hocussing of Cigarette[1]:
      No one, however, would have anything to do with him, as Mr. Keeson's orders in those respects were very strict ; he had often threatened any one of his employés with instant dismissal if he found him in company with one of these touts.
  4. Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
  5. Very quickly and easily prepared.
    instant coffee; instant noodles; instant mashed potato
  6. Of the current month (abbreviation inst.).
    • “I refer to your letter of the 16th inst. in regard to traffic disruption”
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

instant ‎(not comparable)

  1. (poetic) At once; immediately.
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I.182:
      He left the room for his relinquished sword, / And Julia instant to the closet flew.

Related terms[edit]

Statistics[edit]


Catalan[edit]

Noun[edit]

instant m ‎(plural instants)

  1. instant (very short period of time)

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant m (feminine singular instante, masculine plural instants, feminine plural instantes)

  1. (literary) pressing, insistent

Noun[edit]

instant m ‎(plural instants)

  1. instant, minute, moment

Derived terms[edit]

External links[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

instant

  1. third-person plural present active indicative of instō

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

English instant

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant 4 nom/acc forms

  1. instant

Declension[edit]

Adverb[edit]

instant

  1. instantly