Definition of in the first (or second etc.) instance in English:

in the first (or second etc.) instance

phrase

  • In the first (or second etc.) place or stage of a proceeding.

    ‘the appointment will be for three years in the first instance’
    • ‘In the first instance, the person who killed the baby would receive a life sentence; in the second instance, the doctor would receive a thank you and a large payment.’
    • ‘It depended on what made them to become warring enemies in the first instance.’
    • ‘I think you should complain in the first instance to the adviser.’
    • ‘What this column proposes is that, in the first instance, focus be given to the safe disposal of the monitors.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the second instance, even if you somehow got to where you were supposed to be going, how the hell would you know?’
    • ‘He said soldiers may have been acting in self-defense in the second instance.’
    • ‘A nurse does assess patients in the first instance and this is something that we, as nurses, have thought for a long time that we could do.’
    • ‘I think the blame lays fairly and squarely with the company in the first instance.’
    • ‘The victim of this trick was simply astounded at this part of the proceeding, as no mention whatever was made of a frame in the first instance.’
    • ‘He would always advise people to see a doctor in the first instance, especially for conditions such as recurring migraines.’