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[in-stuh n-tey-nee-uh s] /ˌɪn stənˈteɪ ni əs/
occurring, done, or completed in an instant:
an instantaneous response.
existing at or pertaining to a particular instant:
the instantaneous position of the rocket.
1645-55; < Medieval Latin instantāneus. See instant, -an, -eous
Related forms
[in-stan-tn-ee-i-tee, in-stuh n-tuh-nee-] /ɪnˌstæn tnˈi ɪ ti, ˌɪn stən təˈni-/ (Show IPA),
instantaneousness, noun
instantaneously, adverb
1. immediate, sudden, abrupt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for instantaneous
  • Forty years ago, instantaneous global communication was possible but costly, and restricted to governments and large corporations.
  • And the full benefits of a cheaper currency have not been instantaneous.
  • Her recovery from respiratory failure is nearly instantaneous.
  • Some scenarios imagine the almost instantaneous failure of the systems that keep the modern world turning.
  • He needed to find a way to make instantaneous color photographs underwater.
  • But exactly how plants manage this nearly instantaneous trick has remained elusive.
  • They made a distinctly odd couple, but their attraction was mutual and instantaneous.
  • Traffic information can be instantaneous and perfectly accurate.
  • It would seem that instantaneous gravitational interaction would severely limit multiple universe ideas, foam, etc.
  • The means of travel are numerous and the communication is instantaneous.
British Dictionary definitions for instantaneous


occurring with almost no delay; immediate
happening or completed within a moment: instantaneous death
  1. occurring at or associated with a particular instant
  2. equal to the limit of the average value of a given variable as the time interval over which the variable is considered approaches zero: instantaneous velocity
Derived Forms
instantaneously, adverb
instantaneousness, instantaneity (ɪnˌstæntəˈniːɪtɪ) noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for instantaneous

1640s (implied in instantaneously), formed in English from Medieval Latin *instantaneus, from instantem (see instant (n.)) on model of spontaneous. Related: Instantaneousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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