immediately; at once.


as soon as; directly: I recognized her instantly she entered the room.

Origin of instantly

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at instant, -ly

Synonyms for instantly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for instantly

Contemporary Examples of instantly

Historical Examples of instantly

  • As she spoke, Geta lifted the curtain, and Philothea instantly obeyed the signal.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • And when the wrenching at his forearms ceased he instantly relaxed his grip.

  • His name was instantly passed on by the fugitive to his fellows as a "safe" man.

  • She instantly thrust in her head and snorted in the direction of the stranger.

  • He instantly drew back; but it was too late, they had recognised him.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

British Dictionary definitions for instantly



immediately; at once
archaic urgently or insistently
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 instantly

late 15c., "urgently, persistently," from instant (adj.) + -ly (2). Meaning "immediately" is 1550s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper