- 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.
- to cite as an instance or example.
- to exemplify by an instance.
- to cite an 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
Examples from the Web for instances
There are instances in which private rehoming works out fine and is the best solution for the struggling family and the children.Judge: Rehoming Kids Is Trafficking
December 30, 2014
Ares said there are instances where savvy gankers manage to exploit loopholes.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks
December 19, 2014
In other instances, naked detainees were hooded and dragged up and down corridors while subject to physical abuse.The Most Gruesome Moments in the CIA ‘Torture Report’
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 9, 2014
Of course, even the proponents of these laws admitted there were no instances of Muslims trying to impose Islamic law.These Candidates Are Courting the Muslim Vote
October 15, 2014
There have also been instances during this air war when combat aircraft are not available in time to strike a target that pops up.Air Force Pilots Say They're Flying Blind Against ISIS
October 10, 2014
There are six of these instances in all: one in the Old Testament, and five in the New.
There may be instances in history of economic cures for economic ills; but I think they are few.
Instances are occurring every day in confirmation of what I here advance.A Theological-Political Treatise [Part IV]
Benedict of Spinoza
Each of the four instances just given differed from the other.In the Heart of Vosges
There are instances of longevity (macrobiosis) in our own country.The Devil's Dictionary
- 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 and History for instances
mid-14c., "urgency," from Old French instance "eagerness, anxiety, solicitation" (13c.), from Latin instantia "presence, effort intention; earnestness, urgency," literally "a standing near," from instans (see instant). In Scholastic logic, "a fact or example" (early 15c.), from Medieval Latin instantia, used to translate Greek enstasis. This led to use in phrase for instance "as an example" (1650s), and the noun phrase To give (someone) a for instance (1953, American English).
Idioms and Phrases with instances
see under for example.