What does instant mean?

Definitions for instant
ˈɪn stəntin·stant

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. instant

    An instant is a very brief moment or point in time. It refers to an exact and precise moment or period that is occurring or has already happened. In physics, "instant" can also refer to an infinitesimally small unit of time.

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. Haim Tomer:

    But in such cases, it would be a low-level 'green alert', meaning the person should be looked at further, whereas a 'red alert' would warrant instant action. That leaves the security services to decide how to handle matters.

  2. Rip Torn:

    If anything, my name has made me work harder, some people just seem to take instant umbrage at it.

  3. Brian Littrell:

    … You know, I think our fans have proven to us over the years, it’s a true testament to longevity in the career world of today because it’s hard to have hit after hit after hit. there's kind of more ways to get in trouble now as an artist, but that rise to fame is so instant now with YouTube, with Twitter, Instagram and all that stuff.

  4. Noah Petro:

    My encouragement is always that people get out whenever they can to look at the moon, there is an instant when the moon is its fullest, but we can't perceive that with the naked eye.

  5. Walter Bagehot:

    Under a Presidential government, a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.

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

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"instant." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/instant>.

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