from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A period of time so short as to be almost imperceptible. synonym: moment.
  • noun A particular or precise time.
  • noun The current month.
  • noun A food or beverage designed for quick preparation.
  • adjective Occurring at once; immediate.
  • adjective Imperative; urgent.
  • adjective Now under consideration; present.
  • adjective Commercially prepared or processed for quick and easy final preparation.
  • adjective Appearing, done, or taking place with great quickness and ease.
  • adjective Quickly and easily resolved or determined.
  • adverb At once; instantly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To importune; urge.
  • Present; current; now passing: as, on the 8th of June instant; the 10th instant (that is, the 10th day “in the present month,” Latin instante mense).
  • Immediate; with no interval of time intervening; instantaneous.
  • Immediate in succession; very next.
  • Insistent; urgent; earnest; pressing.
  • noun A particular point of time regarded as present.
  • noun A point in duration; a moment; a very small period or interval of time: as, he will return in an instant.
  • noun Application; instance.
  • noun Synonyms Minute, etc. See moment.
  • Instantly; very soon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Pressing; urgent; importunate; earnest.
  • adjective Closely pressing or impending in respect to time; not deferred; immediate; without delay.
  • adjective Present; current.
  • adverb Poetic Instantly.
  • noun A point in time; a moment; a portion of time too short to be estimated; also, any particular moment.
  • noun A day of the present or current month. See Instant, a., 3.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A very short period of time; a moment.
  • noun A single, usually precise, point in time.
  • noun An instant beverage or food, especially instant coffee.
  • noun The current month (abbreviated as: inst.)
  • adjective Impending; imminent.
  • adjective Urgent; pressing; acute.
  • adjective Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
  • adjective Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
  • adjective Very quickly and easily prepared (food or drink), for example instant coffee.
  • adjective Of the current month (abbreviation inst.)
  • adverb poetic At once; immediately.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
  • adjective demanding attention
  • adjective in or of the present month
  • noun a particular point in time
  • adjective occurring with no delay


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English instant ("infinitely short period of time"), from Old French instant ("assiduous, at hand", a), from Latin instans, instant- ("present, pressing, urgent", literally "standing near"), from in + stāre ("to stand"). Compare Old English instede ("immediately, on the spot, at once"). More at in, stand.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French and French instant, from Latin instans ("standing by, being near, present, also urgent, importunate"), present participle of instare ("to stand upon, press upon, urge, pursue, insist"), from in ("on, upon") + stare ("to stand"); see state.


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