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From New Latin īnstāntāneus, from Latin īnstantem.


  • IPA(key): /ɪnstənˈteɪni.əs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪniəs


instantaneous (not comparable)

  1. Occurring, arising, or functioning without any delay; happening within an imperceptibly brief period of time. [from 17th c.]
    Synonyms: immediate, instant; see also Thesaurus:instantaneous
    • 1631, William Twisse, chapter VI, in A Discovery of D. Iacksons vanitie, page 223:
      This instantaneous motion is supposed by you, to be infinitely swift.
    • 1766, [Oliver Goldsmith], “Fresh Mortifications, or a Demonstration that Seeming Calamities may be Real Blessings”, in The Vicar of Wakefield: [], volume I, Salisbury, Wiltshire: [] B. Collins, for F[rancis] Newbery, [], →OCLC; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, 1885, →OCLC, page 137:
      However, no lovers in romance ever cemented a more inſtantaneous friendſhip.
    • 1813 January 27, [Jane Austen], chapter XV, in Pride and Prejudice: [], volume III, London: [] [George Sidney] for T[homas] Egerton, [], →OCLC, page 262:
      The colour now rushed into Elizabeth's cheeks in the instantaneous conviction of its being a letter from the nephew, instead of the aunt; [...]
    • 1906 January–October, Joseph Conrad, chapter IV, in The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale, London: Methuen & Co., [], published 1907, →OCLC; The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (Collection of British Authors; 3995), copyright edition, Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1907, →OCLC, pages 68–69:
      I walk always with my right hand closed round the india-rubber ball which I have in my trouser pocket. The pressing of this ball actuates a detonator inside the flask I carry in my pocket. It's the principle of the pneumatic instantaneous shutter for a camera lens.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 129:
      The penis is the perfectly obvious and natural symbol of instantaneous time.
    • 2007 May 30, “Spector jury given graphic account of actress ‘murder’”, in The Times[1], London, retrieved 13 July 2007:
      He said that the bullet went through her head, severed her spine and death would have been almost instantaneous.

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