instant

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈɪnstənt/
  • (file)

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. A beverage or food which has been pre-processed to reduce preparation time, especially instant coffee.
  4. Ellipsis of instant camera.
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 instō (to stand upon, press upon, urge, pursue, insist), from in (on, upon) + stō (to stand); see state.

Adjective[edit]

instant (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Impending; imminent.
    Synonyms: pending, proximate; see also Thesaurus:impending
    • (Can we date this quote by Prior and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Impending death is thine, and instant doom.
  2. (dated) Urgent; pressing; acute.
  3. (dated) Insistent; persistent.
    Synonyms: exigent, imperious; see also Thesaurus:urgent
  4. (law) Present; current; extant.
    • December 28, 2019 Attorney Jeffery S. Levin, quoted in The Boston Globe, p. 3
      He received just two disciplinary reports prior to committing the instant offense, one in March 2019 for activating an alarm during a non-emergency situation, and one in May 2019 for failing to provide a urine specimen.
  5. Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
    Synonyms: instantaneous; see also Thesaurus:instantaneous
    • (Can we date this quote by Fuller and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The instant time is always the fittest time.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in 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.
  6. Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
    Synonyms: brief, transient; see also Thesaurus:ephemeral
  7. Very quickly and easily prepared.
    instant coffee; instant noodles; instant mashed potato; instant photo
  8. Of the current month.
    Synonym: inst. (abbreviation)
    I refer to your letter of the 16th instant 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]


Catalan[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin īnstāns.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

instant m (plural instants)

  1. instant (very short period of time)

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant (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]

Further reading[edit]


Latin[edit]

Verb[edit]

īnstant

  1. third-person plural present active indicative of īnstō

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from English instant.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant m or f or n (indeclinable)

  1. instant (very quickly and easily prepared)

Declension[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant m or n (feminine singular instantă, masculine plural instanți, feminine and neuter plural instante)

  1. (nonstandard) instant (occurring immediately; immediate; present)

Declension[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

Adverb[edit]

instant

  1. (nonstandard) instantly

Synonyms[edit]