[ in-stuh ns ]
/ ˈɪn stəns /
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), in·stanced, in·stanc·ing.
to cite as an instance or example.
to exemplify by an instance.
verb (used without object), in·stanced, in·stanc·ing.
to cite an instance.
Words nearby instance
Idioms for 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.
Origin of instance
OTHER WORDS FROM instancecoun·ter·in·stance, nounun·in·stanced, adjective
synonym study for instance
2. See case1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for counter-instance
/ (ˈɪnstəns) /
a case or particular example
for instance for or as an example
a specified stage in proceedings; step (in the phrases in the first, second, etc, instance)
urgent request or demand (esp in the phrase at the instance of)
- an expression derived from another by instantiation
- See substitution (def. 4b)
archaic motive or reason
to cite as an example
Word Origin for instance
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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with counter-instance
see under for example.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.