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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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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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Computing Dictionary

instance definition

An individual object of a certain class. While a class is just the type definition, an actual usage of a class is called "instance". Each instance of a class can have different values for its instance variables, i.e. its state.
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see under for example.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But others said that there was no conspiracy to unearth, and that the case
  represented merely a unique instance of bad judgment.
Still, there can be awkward lulls-between two text messages, for instance.
Studies have shown that exposure to sarcasm enhances creative problem solving,
  for instance.
It would be great for growing herbs or lettuces on a balcony, for instance.
Idioms & Phrases
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