• IPA: /ˈɪnstənt/

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. Ellipsis of instant camera#English|instant camera.
Translations Translations Adjective

instant (not comparable)

  1. (dated) Impending; imminent.
    Synonyms: pending, proximate, Thesaurus:impending
    • Impending death is thine, and instant doom.
  2. (dated) Urgent; pressing; acute.
  3. (dated) Insistent; persistent.
    Synonyms: exigent, imperious, Thesaurus:urgent
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Romans 12:12 ↗:
      Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
    • I am beginning to be very instant for some sort of occupation.
  4. (legal) Present; current; extant.
    • December 28, 2019 Attorney Jeffery S. Levin, quoted in The Boston Globe, p. 3
      He received just two disciplinary reports prior to committing the instant offense, one in March 2019 for activating an alarm during a non-emergency situation, and one in May 2019 for failing to provide a urine specimen.
  5. Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
    Synonyms: instantaneous, Thesaurus:instantaneous
    • The instant time is always the fittest time.
  6. Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
    Synonyms: brief, transient, Thesaurus:ephemeral
  7. Very quickly and easily prepared.
    instant coffee; instant noodles; instant mashed potato; instant photo
  8. Of the current month.
    Synonyms: inst.
    I refer to your letter of the 16th instant in regard to traffic disruption.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • German: dringend
  • Russian: сро́чный
Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: dieses Monats, archaic: hujus

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

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