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Webster 1913 Edition


Instance

In′stance

,
Noun.
[F.
instance
, L.
instantia
, fr.
instans
. See
Instant
.]
1.
The act or quality of being instant or pressing; urgency; solicitation; application; suggestion; motion.
Undertook at her
instance
to restore them.
Sir W. Scott.
2.
That which is instant or urgent; motive.
[Obs.]
The
instances
that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
Shakespeare
3.
Occasion; order of occurrence.
These seem as if, in the time of Edward I., they were drawn up into the form of a law, in the first
instance
.
Sir M. Hale.
Most remarkable
instances
of suffering.
Atterbury.
5.
A token; a sign; a symptom or indication.
Shak.
Syn. – Example; case. See
Example
.

In′stance

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Instanced
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Instancing
.]
To mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite;
as, to
instance
a fact
.
H. Spenser.
I shall not
instance
an abstruse author.
Milton.

In′stance

,
Verb.
I.
To give an example.
[Obs.]
This story doth not only
instance
in kingdoms, but in families too.
Jer. Taylor.

Webster 1828 Edition


Instance

IN'STANCE

,
Noun.
[L. insto, to press; in and sto, to stand.]
Literally, a standing on. Hence,
1.
Urgency; a pressing; solicitation; importunity; application. The request was granted at the instance of the defendant's advocate.
2.
Example; a case occurring; a case offered. Howard furnished a remarkable instance of disinterested benevolence. The world may never witness a second instance of the success of daring enterprise and usurpation, equal to that of Buonaparte.
Suppose the earth should be removed nearer to the sun, and revolve, for instance,in the orbit of Mercury, the whole ocean would boil with heat.
The use of instances, is to illustrate and explain a difficulty.
3.
Time; occasion; occurrence.
These seem as if, in the time of Edward I, they were drawn up into the form of a law, in the first instance.
4.
Motive; influence.
5.
Process of a suit.
Instance-court, a branch of the court of admiralty, in England, distinct from the prize-court.

IN'STANCE

,
Verb.
I.
To give or offer an example or case.
As to false citations--I shall instance in two or three.

IN'STANCE

,
Verb.
T.
To mention as an example or case. He instanced the event of Caesar's death.

Definition 2023


instance

instance

English

Alternative forms

Noun

instance (plural instances)

  1. (obsolete) Urgency of manner or words; an urgent request; insistence. [14th-19th c.]
  2. (obsolete) A token; a sign; a symptom or indication.
    It sends some precious instance of itself/ After the thing it loves. Hamlet IV. v. ca. 1602
  3. (obsolete) That which is urgent; motive.
    • Shakespeare
      The instances that second marriage move / Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.
  4. Occasion; order of occurrence.
    • Sir M. Hale
      These seem as if, in the time of Edward I., they were drawn up into the form of a law, in the first instance.
  5. A case offered as an exemplification or a precedent; an illustrative example. [from 16th c.]
    • Atterbury
      most remarkable instances of suffering
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy:
      sometimes we love those that are absent, saith Philostratus, and gives instance in his friend Athenodorus, that loved a maid at Corinth whom he never saw []
  6. One of a series of recurring occasions, cases, essentially the same.
    • 2006, Robert Spaemann, Persons: The Difference Between 'someone' and 'something', page 115:
      One's own death is an 'accidental' event, simply another instance of the general rule that human beings die.
    • 2010, Kenneth Anderson, How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol, page 59:
      If you choose to drink again the best way to avoid another instance of withdrawal is to avoid drinking two days in a row.
    • 2010, The Guardian, 11 Oct 2010:
      The organisations claim fraudsters are targeting properties belonging to both individuals and companies, in some instances using forged documents.
  7. (obsolete) A piece of evidence; a proof or sign (of something). [16th-18th c.]
    • c. 1594, William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors:
      The reason that I gather he is mad, Besides this present instance of his rage, Is a mad tale he told to day at dinner [...].
  8. (computing) In object-oriented programming: a created object, one that has had memory allocated for local data storage; an instantiation of a class. [from 20th c.]
  9. (massively multiplayer online games) A dungeon or other area that is duplicated for each player, or each party of players, that enters it, so that each player or party has a private copy of the area, isolated from other players.
  10. (massively multiplayer online games) An individual copy of such a dungeon or other area.
    • 2005 January 11, Patrick B., "Re: Instance dungeons", in alt.games.warcraft, Usenet:
      The instance is created for the group that enters it.
    • 2005 December 6, "Rene" (username), "Re: Does group leader affect drops?", in alt.games.warcraft, Usenet:
      As soon as the first player enters (spawns) a new instance, it appears that the loottable is somehow chosen.
    • 2010, Anthony Steed & Manuel Fradinho Oliveira, Networked Graphics: Building Networked Games and Virtual Environments, Elsevier, ISBN 978-0-12-374423-4, page 398:
      A castle on the eastern edge of the island spawns a new instance whenever a party of players enters.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

See also

Verb

instance (third-person singular simple present instances, present participle instancing, simple past and past participle instanced)

  1. (transitive) To mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite; as, to instance a fact.
    • 1946, E. M. Butler, Rainer Maria Rilke, p. 404
      The poems which I have instanced are concrete and relatively glaring examples of the intangible difference which the change of language made in Rilke's visions .
  2. (intransitive) To cite an example as proof; to exemplify.

References

  • instance in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • instance in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: lead · wouldn't · success · #905: instance · sake · justice · offer

Anagrams


French

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɛ̃s.tɑ̃s/

Etymology 1

From Latin instantia

Noun

instance f (plural instances)

  1. (often in the plural) urgent demand, insistence, plea
  2. authority, forum, agency, body
  3. (law) legal proceedings, prosecution process
  4. (object-oriented programming) instance
Derived terms

Etymology 2

A derivative of etymology 1, but reborrowed from English.

Noun

instance f (plural instances)

  1. (computing) instance

Anagrams