from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An almost imperceptible space of time. See Synonyms at moment.
- n. A particular or precise time: at the instant of combustion.
- n. The current month: your letter of the 15th instant.
- n. A food or beverage designed for quick preparation.
- adj. Occurring at once; immediate: instant gratification.
- adj. Imperative; urgent: an instant need.
- adj. Now under consideration; present.
- adj. Commercially prepared or processed for quick and easy final preparation: an instant cake mix.
- adj. Readily soluble in water: instant coffee; instant powdered milk.
- adj. Appearing, done, or taking place with or as if with maximum quickness and ease: "She had the gift of instant intimacy” ( Sylvia Jukes Morris).
- adv. At once; instantly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A very short period of time; a moment.
- n. A single, usually precise, point in time.
- n. An instant beverage or food, especially instant coffee.
- n. The current month (abbreviated as: inst.)
- adj. Impending; imminent.
- adj. Urgent; pressing; acute.
- adj. Occurring immediately; immediate; present.
- adj. Lasting for a short moment; momentary; short-lived.
- adj. Very quickly and easily prepared (food or drink), for example instant coffee.
- adj. Of the current month (abbreviation inst.)
- adv. At once; immediately.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Pressing; urgent; importunate; earnest.
- adj. Closely pressing or impending in respect to time; not deferred; immediate; without delay.
- adj. Present; current.
- adv. Instantly.
- n. A point in time; a moment; a portion of time too short to be estimated; also, any particular moment.
- n. A day of the present or current month. See Instant, a., 3.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- 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.
- n. A particular point of time regarded as present.
- n. A point in duration; a moment; a very small period or interval of time: as, he will return in an instant.
- n. Application; instance.
- n. Synonyms Minute, etc. See moment.
- Instantly; very soon.
- To importune; urge.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
- adj. demanding attention
- adj. in or of the present month
- n. a particular point in time
- adj. occurring with no delay
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.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)
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. (Wiktionary)