What does instance mean?

Definitions for instance
ˈɪn stənsin·stance

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word instance.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. case, instance, examplenoun

    an occurrence of something

    "it was a case of bad judgment"; "another instance occurred yesterday"; "but there is always the famous example of the Smiths"

  2. example, illustration, instance, representativeverb

    an item of information that is typical of a class or group

    "this patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"; "there is an example on page 10"

  3. exemplify, illustrate, instanceverb

    clarify by giving an example of


  1. Instancenoun

    That which offers itself or is offered as an illustrative case; something cited in proof or exemplification; a case occurring; an example; as, we could find no instance of poisoning in the town within the past year.


  1. instancenoun

    Urgency of manner or words; an urgent request; insistence.

  2. instancenoun

    A case offered as an exemplification or a precedent; an illustrative example.

  3. instancenoun

    A recurring occasion, case etc.

  4. instancenoun

    A piece of evidence; a proof or sign (of something).

  5. instancenoun

    In object-oriented programming: a created object, one that has had memory allocated for local data storage; an instantiation of a class.

  6. instancenoun

    A question that can be asked in the context of a computational problem.

  7. instanceverb

    To mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite; as, to instance a fact.

  8. instanceverb

    To cite an example as proof; to exemplify.

  9. Etymology: From instance, from instantia, from instans; see instant.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Instance, Instancynoun

    Etymology: instance, French.

    Christian men should much better frame themselves to those heavenly precepts which our Lord and Saviour with so great instancy gave us concerning peace and unity, if we did concur to have the ancient councils renewed. Richard Hooker, b. i.

    She dwells so securely upon her honour, that folly dares not present itself. Now, could I come to her with any direction in my hand, my desires had instance and argument to commend themselves. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    The instances that second marriage move,
    Are base respects of thrift, but none of love. William Shakespeare.

    The instance of a cause is said to be that judicial process which is made from the contestation of a suit, even to the time of pronouncing sentence in the cause, or till the end of three years. John Ayliffe, Parergon.

    Yet doth this accident
    So far exceed all instance, all discourse,
    That I am ready to distrust mine eyes. William Shakespeare.

    In furnaces of copper and brass, where vitriol is often cast in, there riseth suddenly a fly, which sometimes moveth on the walls of the furnace; sometimes in the fire below; and dieth presently as soon as it is out of the furnace: which is a noble instance, and worthy to be weighed. Francis Bacon.

    We find in history instances of persons, who, after their prisons have been flung open, have chosen rather to languish in their dungeons, than stake their miserable lives and fortunes upon the success of a revolution. Addison.

    The greatest saints are sometimes made the most remarkable instances of suffering. Francis Atterbury, Sermons.

    Suppose the earth should be removed nearer to the sun, and revolve for instance in the orbit of Mercury, the whole ocean would boil with heat. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    The use of instances is to illustrate and explain a difficulty; and this end is best answered by such instances as are familiar and common. Thomas Baker, Reflections on Learning.

    These seem as if, in the time of Edward the first, they were drawn up into the form of a law in the first instance. Matthew Hale.

    The performances required on our part, are no other than what natural reason has endeavoured to recommend, even in the most severe and difficult instances of duty. John Rogers.

  2. To Instanceverb

    To give or offer an example.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    As to false citations, that the world may see how little he is to be trusted, I shall instance in two or three about which he makes the loudest clamor. John Tillotson.

    In tragedy and satire, this age and the last have excelled the ancients; and I would instance in William Shakespeare of the former, in Dorset of the latter sort. John Dryden, Juvenal.


  1. instance

    An instance is an occurrence, example, or specific case of something within a larger group, category, or concept. It refers to a particular individual or occurrence that represents or demonstrates the characteristics, qualities, or attributes associated with a broader concept or category.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Instancenoun

    the act or quality of being instant or pressing; urgency; solicitation; application; suggestion; motion

  2. Instancenoun

    that which is instant or urgent; motive

  3. Instancenoun

    occasion; order of occurrence

  4. Instancenoun

    that which offers itself or is offered as an illustrative case; something cited in proof or exemplification; a case occurring; an example

  5. Instancenoun

    a token; a sign; a symptom or indication

  6. Instanceverb

    to mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite; as, to instance a fact

  7. Instanceverb

    to give an example

  8. Etymology: [F. instance, L. instantia, fr. instans. See Instant.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Instance

    in′stans, n. quality of being urgent: solicitation: occurrence: occasion: example: (Shak.) evidence, proof.—v.t. to mention as an example.—n. In′stancy, insistency.—adj. Instan′tial (rare).—At the instance of, at the motion or solicitation of; For instance, to take as an example. [O. Fr.,—L. instantiainstans.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'instance' in Nouns Frequency: #1247

Anagrams for instance »

  1. ancients

  2. canniest

  3. catenins

  4. insectan

  5. tenascin

How to pronounce instance?

How to say instance in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of instance in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of instance in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of instance in a Sentence

  1. Vladimir Putin:

    For instance, we can bring up Mr. Browder in this particular case, business associates of Mr. Browder have earned over $ 1.5 billion in Russia. They never paid any taxes, neither in Russia nor in the United States, and yet the money escaped the country. They were transferred to United States.

  2. Siri Srinivas:

    Product building, sales, these are all very collaborative efforts, if there was an odd startup that told us, for instance, that they were distributed, that was sort of a little bit concerning. We would recommend that they work in a single location or spend that money and bring the team together as much as possible.

  3. David Geier:

    While I do think that there may be some role for hormone replacement therapy or shoe inserts for active individuals in a preventative or treatment sense for these problems, someone who is interested in pursuing one of these treatments should consider speaking to an orthopaedic surgeon or to his or her doctor, for instance, people have different anatomy of their feet, such as high arches or flat feet, and might benefit from shoe inserts or orthotics, while others might not.

  4. Evelyn Waugh:

    If, for instance, they have heard something from the postman, they attribute it to a semi-official statement; if they have fallen into conversation with a stranger at a bar, they can conscientiously describe him as a source that has hitherto proved unimpeachable. It is only when the journalist is reporting a whim of his own, and one to which he attaches minor importance, that he defines it as the opinion of well-informed circles.

  5. Ryan Hyer:

    Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering and then I picture her laying in this coffin, i still see her smiling and laughing in my head and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for instance

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"instance." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 24 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/instance>.

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    offensive or even (of persons) malicious
    A greedy
    B nasty
    C victimised
    D plush

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