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. A beverage or food which has been pre-processed to reduce preparation time, 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, 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.
  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]

Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: fee · excellent · Peter · #999: instant · promised · anxious · drink

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]

Borrowing from English instant.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant m, f, n (invariable)

  1. instant (very quickly and easily prepared)

Declension[edit]

Adjective[edit]

instant m, 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]