What does instant mean?

Definitions for instant
ˈɪn stəntin·stant

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word instant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, wink, New York minutenoun

    a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)

    "if I had the chance I'd do it in a flash"

  2. moment, minute, second, instantadjective

    a particular point in time

    "the moment he arrived the party began"

  3. instantaneous, instant(a)adjective

    occurring with no delay

    "relief was instantaneous"; "instant gratification"

  4. instant, instadjective

    in or of the present month

    "your letter of the 10th inst"

  5. clamant, crying, exigent, insistent, instantadjective

    demanding attention

    "clamant needs"; "a crying need"; "regarded literary questions as exigent and momentous"- H.L.Mencken; "insistent hunger"; "an instant need"


  1. Instantnoun

    A point in time; a moment; a portion of time too short to be estimated; also, any particular moment; as, the situation may change in an instant.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. INSTANTadjective

    Etymology: instant, Fr. instans, Latin.

    And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. Luke xxiii. 23.

    Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. Rom. xii. 12.

    Our good old friend bestow
    Your needful counsel to our businesses,
    Which crave the instant use. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Th' instant stroke of death denounc'd to day,
    Remov'd far off. John Milton.

    Nor native country thou, nor friend shalt see;
    Nor war hast thou to wage, nor year to come;
    Impending death is thine, and instant doom. Matthew Prior.

    Instant without disturb they took alarm. John Milton.

    Griev'd that a visitant so long should wait
    Unmark'd, unhonour'd, at a monarch's gate;
    Instant he flew with hospitable haste,
    And the new friend with courteous air embrac'd. Alexander Pope.

  2. Instantnoun

    1.Instant is such a part of duration wherein we perceive no succession. John Locke

    Etymology: instant, French.

    There is scarce an instant between their flourishing and their not being. Richard Hooker, b. v.

    I can at any unseasonable instant of the night appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber window. William Shakespeare.

    Her nimble body yet in time must move,
    And not in instants through all places stride;
    But she is nigh and far, beneath, above,
    In point of time, which thought cannot divide. Davies.

    At any instant of time the moving atom is but in one single point of the line; therefore all but that one point is either future or past, and no other parts are co-existent or contemporary with it. Richard Bentley, Sermons.

    On the twentieth instant it is my intention to erect a lion's head. Joseph Addison, Guard. №. 98.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Instantadjective

    pressing; urgent; importunate; earnest

  2. Instantadjective

    closely pressing or impending in respect to time; not deferred; immediate; without delay

  3. Instantadjective

    present; current

  4. Instantadverb


  5. Instantadjective

    a point in duration; a moment; a portion of time too short to be estimated; also, any particular moment

  6. Instantadjective

    a day of the present or current month; as, the sixth instant; -- an elliptical expression equivalent to the sixth of the month instant, i. e., the current month. See Instant, a., 3

  7. Etymology: [L. instans, -antis, p. pr. of instare to stand upon, to press upon; pref. in- in, on + stare to stand: cf. F. instant. See Stand.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Instant

    in′stant, adj. pressing, urgent: immediate: quick: without delay: present, current, as the passing month.—n. the present moment of time: any moment or point of time.—n. Instantanē′ity.—adj. Instantān′eous, done in an instant: momentary: occurring or acting at once: very quickly.—adv. Instantān′eously.—n. Instantān′eousness.—advs. Instan′ter, immediately; In′stantly, on the instant or moment: immediately: (Shak.) at the same time: (B.) importunately, zealously. [L. instans, -antis, pr.p. of instārein, upon, stāre, to stand.]

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'instant' in Adjectives Frequency: #925

How to pronounce instant?

How to say instant in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of instant in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of instant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of instant in a Sentence

  1. Timothy Trun:

    It's been a real shocker, we're about to enjoy eating dinner, and the cops show up and tell us you have to go, and everything changes in an instant. You have five minutes to pack your bags with what you think you're going to need and you're off.

  2. Stephanie Foster:

    Covetrus now has more leverage with the manufacturers than I will ever have as a small business, they're able to get the manufacturers to agree to instant rebates and they can do flash sales on products and things that we just can't compete with.

  3. Mark Pendergast:

    It's difficult in trenches to brew coffee, so having instant coffee was a big improvement.

  4. Jean-Paul Sartre:

    I am responsible for everything except for my very responsibility, for I am not the foundation of my being. Therefore everything takes place as if I were compelled to be responsible. I am abandoned in the world... in the sense that I find myself suddenly alone and without help, engaged in a world for which I bear the whole responsibility without being able, whatever I do, to tear myself away from this responsibility for an instant.

  5. Gina Knepp:

    Logan and Quinn Scharn had an instant connection, bringing many who witnessed the union to tears. When I saw Quinn Scharn and the dog together the immediate reaction was a welling of tears, there were a lot of tears yesterday, joyful tears.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for instant

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • لَحْظةArabic
  • moment, instantní, okamžikCzech
  • øjeblikDanish
  • dieses Monats, dringend, Moment, fertig-, augenblicklich, vorübergehend, Augenblick, instant, bevorstehend, momentan, hujusGerman
  • στιγμήGreek
  • momentoEsperanto
  • instante, momentoSpanish
  • pika-, [[tämän]] [[kuun]], pikaruoka, hetkellinen, hetki, pikakahvi, välitön, kiireellinenFinnish
  • instantané, instantFrench
  • mòmaid, grad, priobadhScottish Gaelic
  • רגעHebrew
  • pillanatHungarian
  • attimo, istante, immediatoItalian
  • 瞬時の, 急ぎの, インスタント, 差し迫った, 即席の, 即席, 今月, 緊急の, インスタントの, 火急の, 切迫した, 瞬間, その場で決めたJapanese
  • moment, ogenblikkelijk, ogenblik, kant-en-klaar, dringend, poosje, onmiddelijk, kortstondigDutch
  • instantâneo, instante, instantâneaPortuguese
  • instantRomanian
  • мгнове́ние, моме́нт, предстоя́щий, безотлага́тельный, сро́чный, настоя́тельный, раствори́мый, неме́дленный, теку́щийRussian
  • omedelbar, ögonblick, ögonblickligSwedish
  • sasaSwahili
  • உடனடிTamil
  • an, hazırTurkish
  • فوریUrdu

Get even more translations for instant »


Find a translation for the instant definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these instant definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "instant." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Jan. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/instant>.

    Are we missing a good definition for instant? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    greatly exceeding bounds of reason or moderation
    • A. usurious
    • B. irascible
    • C. tantamount
    • D. dicotyledonous

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for instant: