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Word of the Day
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Definitions for instantiate

  1. to provide an instance of or concrete evidence in support of (a theory, concept, claim, or the like).

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Citations for instantiate
That scheme, much simplified, is this: narratives tend to contain or at least to suggest the possibility of three basic figures (though there may be more or fewer than three characters who instantiate them): an innocent, someone who exploits that innocent, and someone else who seeks to punish the exploiter. William Flesch, Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction, 2007
Both feelings instantiate my authorial voice in a double role: in its academic aspect, as a cultural analyst; and in terms of location, as an exiled Palestinian belonging to the third generation of post-Nakba Palestinians, born after 1967. Ihab Saloul, Catastrophe and Exile in the Modern Palestinian Imagination, 2012
Origin of instantiate
Instantiate, a verb used in philosophy and linguistics, looks like something that scholastic philosophers of the 13th century used or coined. In fact, the verb is a modern formation, but it is based on one of the meanings of the Medieval Latin noun instantia “an objection to a general statement, an example to the contrary.” This particular meaning is a calque or piece-by-piece translation of Greek énstasis, used by Aristotle as a term in logic. The scholastic philosophers developed a further sense “an example supporting a general assertion or an argument,” which is the current meaning of the verb. Instantiate entered English in the mid-20th century.
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