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a case or occurrence of anything: fresh instances of oppression.
an example put forth in proof or illustration: to cite a few instances.
Law. the institution and prosecution of a case.
Archaic. urgency in speech or action.
Obsolete. an impelling motive.
verb (used with object), instanced, instancing.
to cite as an instance or example.
to exemplify by an instance.
verb (used without object), instanced, instancing.
to cite an instance.
at the instance of, at the urging or suggestion of: He applied for the assistantship at the instance of his professor.
for instance, as an example; for example: If you were to go to Italy, for instance, you would get a different perspective on our culture.

1300–50; Middle English < Latin instantia presence, urgency (Medieval Latin: case, example). See instant, -ance

counterinstance, noun
uninstanced, adjective

2. See case1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To for instance
World English Dictionary
instance (ˈɪnstəns)
1.  a case or particular example
2.  for instance for or as an example
3.  a specified stage in proceedings; step (in the phrases in the first, second, etc, instance)
4.  urgent request or demand (esp in the phrase at the instance of)
5.  logic
 a.  an expression derived from another by instantiation
 b.  See substitution
6.  archaic motive or reason
7.  to cite as an example
[C14 (in the sense: case, example): from Medieval Latin instantia example, (in the sense: urgency) from Latin: a being close upon, presence, from instāns pressing upon, urgent; see instant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "urgency," from O.Fr. instance "eagerness, anxiety, solicitation," from L. instantia "presence, earnestness, urgency," lit. "a standing near," from instans (see instant). In Scholastic logic, "a fact or example" (1580s), from M.L. instantia, used to translate Gk.
enstasis. This led to use in phrase for instance "as an example" (1650s), and the noun phrase To give (someone) a for instance (1959, Amer.Eng.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Try deep blue and peach, for instance, or lavender and gold.
For instance, with drainage holes added, the concrete birdbath at left makes a
  splendid container.
The shabby chic table opposite, for instance, is in my zip code range and
  seriously tempting.
Most of her pots, for instance, are standard nursery terra-cotta.
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