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1. A period of time so short as to be almost imperceptible. See Synonyms at moment.
2. A particular or precise time: at the instant of combustion.
3. Abbr. inst. The current month: your letter of the 15th instant.
4. A food or beverage designed for quick preparation.
1. Occurring at once; immediate: instant gratification.
2. Imperative; urgent: an instant need.
3. Now under consideration; present.
a. Commercially prepared or processed for quick and easy final preparation: an instant cake mix.
b. Appearing, done, or taking place with great quickness and ease: "She had the gift of instant intimacy" (Sylvia Jukes Morris).
c. Quickly and easily resolved or determined: instant lottery tickets.
At once; instantly.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin īnstāns, īnstant-, present, present participle of īnstāre, to approach : in-, on; see in-2 + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

in′stant·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


the quality of being instant
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
She concludes that while social media is simply another form of communication which can conflict with and challenge parliamentary conventions and rules in the same way as more traditional forms of communication, parliamentarians should be aware that its "instantness" can set it apart and expand their audience.
Because of its very 'instantness', the T20 format captures the exhilaration and excitement that the masses want from any sports event.