Definition of instance in English:

instance

noun

  • 1An example or single occurrence of something:

    ‘a serious instance of corruption’
    ‘the search finds every instance where the word appears’
    • ‘Importantly, these instances show the direction of the road ahead.’
    • ‘There are many instances where termination is important or necessary.’
    • ‘PorkWatch says there are instances of imported pork and pork products being labelled in ways that might make shoppers think they are British.’
    • ‘I collect instances of ‘like oh my god’ because it can be used to express so many different thoughts and emotions.’
    • ‘There are lines of communication and despite a few instances which might suggest otherwise, there's been a cordial relationship going on.’
    • ‘He recounts numerous instances of issuing false data, some, like the hamlet evaluation statistics, well known.’
    • ‘If you want to collect instances of English for the feeble-minded, you have only to trawl the sports pages.’
    • ‘Does this variation simply reflect, as Simmons seems to suggest, instances of policy failure?’
    • ‘We collected some money so that when we found instances of real distress over matters other than food we had a fund that we were able to divide up.’
    • ‘About three-quarters of all British cases occur as isolated instances rather than as epidemics.’
    • ‘This week, we'll be collecting instances of egregious liberal tunnel vision on the West Wing.’
    • ‘I posted numerous instances above of complete misunderstandings of how science operates.’
    • ‘Barratt totally rejects the criticisms, saying that these were isolated instances which did not involve Barratt in this part of the country.’
    • ‘Last Wednesday I saw three such instances of this abuse, and it really is a matter that needs to be tackled head on by the council.’
    • ‘This issue is of minor importance in most instances of either pure hemorrhagic or hypovolemic shock.’
    • ‘He said such instances continued to occur and just reinforced the importance of the battalion's mission in East Timor.’
    • ‘As a result, in numerous instances, subscribers who requested cancellation continued to be charged monthly service fees.’
    • ‘And are you aware of instances where China put pressure on Germany to prevent Taiwan's participation?’
    • ‘There are instances of students continuing these courses even after the holidays out of sheer interest.’
    • ‘Unfortunately there have been instances where buildings with important heritage have been lost to the community.’
    example, occasion, occurrence, case, representative case, typical case, case in point, illustration, specimen, sample, exemplar, exemplification
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A particular case:
      ‘in this instance it mattered little’
      • ‘Having a good pre-shot routine can be, in some instances, even more important than having a good technique.’
      • ‘In these important instances therefore, he has the same parental status as a married father.’
      • ‘The NPA says there are also instances of imported pig products being labelled in a way that can cause shoppers to think they are British meat.’
      • ‘In many instances, a complex phenotype can be assessed continuously or discontinuously.’
      • ‘This is one of those instances where the most important message is in between the lines and what has not been revealed could count just as much.’
      • ‘When amended versions of the two bills reached him, a few days later in both instances, he promptly signed them.’
      • ‘He added that the Council has never lost a case yet in instances where it has had to bring developers to court.’
      • ‘In these instances, it is important that the change team take the trouble to identify all the processes in use and to assess their scope and integrity.’
      • ‘In many instances, a single trial or set of trials will not be able to address all the issues of interest to both agencies.’
      • ‘Of course, such superficialities shouldn't matter in this instance.’
      • ‘Likewise, there may be instances where a single heroic act may be its own sufficient justification.’
      • ‘In the first instance, take the matter of evaluation of the worth of a teacher.’
      • ‘In some instances, military means could be important, such as in the case of fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.’
      • ‘It is also important in these instances to check for concomitant drug use, particularly drugs received over the counter.’
      • ‘The board was unwilling to take on the powerful teacher union in many instances when it most mattered.’
      • ‘MscL activities increase with pressure and in both instances reach saturation.’
      • ‘Needless to say, the availability of condoms matters little in these instances.’
      • ‘If so, why would the identity of the victim matter in this instance and not in others?’
      • ‘The detection in these instances is a matter of minutes, but most of these advanced devices are available only in the military.’
      • ‘At present perjury proceedings are difficult and complex in such instances.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Cite (a fact, case, etc.) as an example:

    ‘I instanced Bob as someone whose commitment had certainly got things done’
    • ‘He instanced a number of Brazilian workers who were compelled to work for £100 less than their colleagues and a Romanian who was sacked because he returned home when his wife had a difficult pregnancy.’
    • ‘In a recent report, Amnesty instanced the case of a farmer from the Shan tribe forced to work by the military.’
    • ‘He also reminded them of the devastation that a single disease could cause by instancing the 30-40 million deaths brought about less than 100 years ago by influenza.’
    • ‘But on the flip side could be instanced fleeting moments when rhythmic control was a little wayward and when ensemble unity was not quite perfect.’
    • ‘He instanced situations like car crashes, fires and drownings and said that in past few years they have had to deal with some traumatic situations.’
    • ‘He instanced one Dublin firm where 10 workers use eight vans.’
    • ‘He agreed that there were few houses being built in rural areas, and instanced the case of the man with the house on the mountainside.’
    • ‘He said he had seen a big improvement in the town during those years and instanced the number of houses that had been built, the new businesses that had opened and the general air of prosperity which now prevails.’
    • ‘Marine leisure activities have some potential, however, as instanced by the new marina in Caherciveen.’
    • ‘The bad faith of a majority of the left is instanced by four things (apart, that is, from mass demonstrations in favor of prolonging the life of a fascist government).’
    • ‘He instanced its failure to compel the Indian steel company to clean up the plant and site as a condition of the takeover in 1996.’
    • ‘He instanced the plight of a young lad who got planning permission for a site on his father's land near Rakestreet but could not get water.’
    • ‘Repeated in a new situation, the old formulations can often be misleading, as instanced by the examples of Baius and Jansenius in the seventeenth century.’
    • ‘Mr McCarthy instanced the success of food companies, such as Kerry Group plc, Lee Strand Co-op, Tralee, and the Cadbury factory in Rathmore.’
    • ‘Well, it's not actually illegal as instanced by the fact you can buy playing cards in the major stores.’
    • ‘He instanced a case of a woman who borrowed £500 from one of these to attend a funeral down the country.’
    • ‘This was a popular design for library bookcases in particular, as instanced by Plate 92 in the 1762 edition of Chippendale's Director.’
    • ‘He also instanced his meeting with the 10 children who came from Chernobyl to spend a month in Castlebar with host families.’
    • ‘Other delegates instanced names of people who would be eligible for membership of the IFA under the new rules, but who would have opposite views on several issues to those held by farming members.’
    • ‘Why are local authorities now playing down the scale of the problem (massively in my view) as instanced by their estimate of $30 million for repairs?’
    cite, quote, refer to, make reference to, mention, allude to, adduce, give, give as an example, point to, point out
    specify, name, identify
    bring up, invoke, draw attention to, call attention to, put forward, present, offer, advance, propose
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • at first instance

    • At the first court hearing concerning a case.

      • ‘The Federal Court of Australia at first instance and then on appeal denied judicial review.’
      • ‘His application for judicial review was dismissed at first instance on 11 April 2001.’
      • ‘That court unanimously dismissed an appeal against a judgment entered by Justice Carr at first instance in that court.’
      • ‘Although both the judge at first instance and the Court of Appeal held that the agreement was void, the House of Lords held the contract to be valid and binding.’
      • ‘At first instance, the jury returned a verdict in favour of the defendant.’
  • at the instance of

    • formal At the request or instigation of:

      ‘prosecution at the instance of the police’
      • ‘But, whether it is so expressed or not, it is in my judgment a duty that is owed to the court and which can be enforced by the court at the instance of the English plaintiffs.’
      • ‘Extradition proceedings at the instance of the French prosecuting authorities are pending against Parretti in the USA.’
      • ‘In criminal causes, an appeal lies to the House of Lords at the instance of the defendant or prosecutor.’
      • ‘The defendant says that the witness wrote the number into his diary at the instance of the plaintiff, and that she had gotten the number from him in the course of a meeting the defendant had with her before leaving for India.’
      • ‘The grievance procedure has commenced and one hearing date was postponed at the instance of defendant.’
      instigation, prompting, suggestion
      View synonyms
  • for instance

    • As an example:

      ‘take Canada, for instance’
      • ‘For instance, the EU suggests keeping cheeses at temperatures that will not endanger human health.’
      • ‘For instance when a couple quarrel they often forget the matter in hand.’
      • ‘For instance, I Wish I Was the Moon is quite possibly the best ballad in years.’
      • ‘For instance, he suggested cities share some of their infrastructure with rural neighbors.’
      • ‘For instance, they suggest that a third of seats in the government should be reserved for women.’
      • ‘Beware of people who say they can find you a specific marble mantelpiece, for instance.’
      • ‘For instance, suppose you wish to throw your opponent with, say, the ankle throw to the right.’
      • ‘For instance, pressure on the abdomen can cause or relieve corresponding back pains.’
      • ‘For instance, people demand food because of the nourishment it offers them.’
      • ‘There may, for instance, be specific evidence pointing to a clear boundary to the market.’
  • in the first (or second etc.) instance

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

      ‘the appointment will be for three years in the first instance’
      • ‘He would always advise people to see a doctor in the first instance, especially for conditions such as recurring migraines.’
      • ‘He said soldiers may have been acting in self-defense in the second 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.’
      • ‘I think the blame lays fairly and squarely with the company in the first instance.’
      • ‘Indeed, in the second instance, even if you somehow got to where you were supposed to be going, how the hell would you know?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It depended on what made them to become warring enemies 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.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin instantia presence, urgency, from instare be present, press upon, from in- upon + stare to stand. The original sense was ‘urgency, urgent entreaty’, surviving in at the instance of. In the late 16th century the word denoted a particular case cited to disprove a general assertion, derived from medieval Latin instantia example to the contrary (translating Greek enstasis objection); hence the meaning ‘single occurrence’.

Pronunciation:

instance

/ˈɪnst(ə)ns/