mid-14c., "urgency," from O.Fr. instance
"eagerness, anxiety, solicitation," from L. instantia
"presence, earnestness, urgency," lit. "a standing near," from instans
). 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