• synonyms


or in·stal·ment

[in-stawl-muh nt]
  1. any of several parts into which a debt or other sum payable is divided for payment at successive fixed times: to pay for furniture in monthly installments.
  2. a single portion of something furnished or issued by parts at successive times: a magazine serial in six installments.
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Origin of installment1

1725–35; in-2 + obsolete (e)stallment, equivalent to estall to arrange payment on an installment plan (perhaps < Anglo-French) + -ment
Related formsre·in·stal·ment, noun


or in·stal·ment

[in-stawl-muh nt]
  1. the act of installing.
  2. the fact of being installed; installation.
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Origin of installment2

First recorded in 1580–90; install + -ment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for instalment

Historical Examples

  • The next day the first instalment of rifles was surrendered.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force

    Sir Winston S. Churchill

  • Each loss is but an instalment of the grand total of his ruin, and you have contracted for that.

    Arthur O'Leary

    Charles James Lever

  • Here was probably an instalment of much with which he was destined to meet that day.

    The Golden Shoemaker

    J. W. Keyworth

  • It was one evening about two months after his instalment at Blodgett's.

    The Lovely Lady

    Mary Austin

  • There was a second instalment of the price which had to be paid to a Quebec bank.

    That Stick

    Charlotte M. Yonge

British Dictionary definitions for instalment


US installment

  1. one of the portions, usually equal, into which a debt is divided for payment at specified intervals over a fixed period
  2. a portion of something that is issued, broadcast, or published in parts, such as a serial in a magazine
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Word Origin

C18: from obsolete estallment, probably from Old French estaler to fix, hence to agree rate of payment, from estal something fixed, place, from Old High German stal stall 1


US installment

  1. another word for installation (def. 1)
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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

Word Origin and History for instalment



"act of installing," 1580s, from install + -ment. Meaning "arrangement of payment by fixed portions at fixed times" is from 1732, alteration of Anglo-French estaler "fix payments," from Old French estal "fixed position," from Old High German stal "standing place" (see stall (n.1)). Figurative sense of "part of a whole produced in advance of the rest" is from 1823.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper