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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.
Origin of instantaneous
From the Medieval Latin word instantāneus, dating back to 1645-55. 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for instantaneously
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He sees at one glance and instantaneously all the past, present, and future.

  • Smoothly and instantaneously as a shadow Reddin eluded the attack.

    Earth's Enigmas Charles G. D. Roberts
  • I have never seen a stranger who won my regard so instantaneously.

    Ernest Linwood Caroline Lee Hentz
  • So instantaneously do they receive and understand God's revelations.

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • And instantaneously, as a baby at the breast, she found that all his strength and serenity were hers.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • Yet it was wonderful how instantaneously he mastered his passion.

  • instantaneously all my forces of self-reserve were swept away.

    Fibble, D. D. Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
British Dictionary definitions for instantaneously


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 instantaneously



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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