Definition of installment in US English:


(British instalment)


  • 1A sum of money due as one of several equal payments for something, spread over an agreed period of time.

    ‘the first installment of a grant for housing’
    ‘the purchase price is paid in installments’
    • ‘They're typically paid in installments over five to seven years, and you pay taxes only as you receive money.’
    • ‘Fortunately, after some disagreement I was allowed (most graciously!) to pay off the amount in installments over the next 12 months.’
    • ‘Loans are repaid in monthly instalments over an agreed period.’
    • ‘And, pay the amount in instalments over a period of seven years.’
    • ‘Formerly, owners who sold their companies through asset sales and received the payment in installments had to pay taxes on an installment basis also.’
    • ‘But thanks to a recent change in the tax laws, selling is now more painful than ever - that is, if you're being paid in installments.’
    • ‘You will be expected to make a significant down payment, with the balance by agreed instalments over a short period.’
    • ‘Kent asked to be permitted to make payment of premium in instalments beginning with US $70,000 at the end of July 1994.’
    • ‘In some industrial and construction loans the amount lent may be drawn down by the borrower in instalments within an agreed period.’
    • ‘These commissions were to be payable in four equal instalments after the payment of each instalment provided for in the shipbuilding contracts had been paid by Latreefers to the Yard's bank.’
    • ‘He claims that Jazz City has offered to pay the money in installments, but that the Journal has declined, insisting that it be paid in one lump sum.’
    • ‘The January wage was distributed in installments, only half of February was paid, and March salaries are still outstanding.’
    • ‘To use the system, complete and submit an application for approval to pay an amount due in installments.’
    • ‘I was charged according to my income and the amount can be settled in installments - interest free.’
    • ‘The policies typically vest in 10 to 20 years, after which investors can withdraw the money in installments or leave it where it is.’
    • ‘The contribution is to be paid when they file their income tax return or make installments payments, where applicable.’
    • ‘Such an interpretation would have meant that the mortgage was payable in installments as the lots were sold.’
    • ‘In addition to the increased exemptions, you can also elect to pay your taxes in installments.’
    • ‘For example, insurance companies are able to let customers make instalment payments on insurance policies without a fee where previously there was one.’
    • ‘The report also said continued auto-promotion campaigns featuring low interest rates, low down payments and long installment periods also contributed.’
    part payment, partial payment
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  • 2Any of several parts of something which are published, broadcast, or made public in sequence at intervals.

    ‘filming the final installment in his Vietnam trilogy’
    • ‘This is the first in what we plan to be a regular series of cases, which we will publish in instalments.’
    • ‘Following an overwhelming response, BBC News Online is publishing a second instalment of answers to your questions.’
    • ‘He was last seen on the big screen in the final instalment of Star Wars and on television in a documentary recording his travels across the world on a motorbike.’
    • ‘The series A Sense of Place will be launched during this special programme and the first instalment will be broadcast from 10.15 to 10.45 am.’
    • ‘A summary of the story will be published in instalments in NZine.’
    • ‘Clone Wars takes place between the second and third installments of George Lucas's prequel trilogy.’
    • ‘In all truthfulness, this exaggerated approach does work for this film - but it will get too over-the-top in the final installment of the series.’
    • ‘Follow along as I now review the final installment to this thrilling saga!’
    • ‘We gaze obediently like cattle at the television screen perched above, broadcasting the latest installment of a Spanish soap opera.’
    • ‘They chose the final installment in the newspaper pollution series for a ‘toe-in-the-water’ test.’
    • ‘Thirty years after his death, and fifty years after the book was published, the final installment of the trilogy was released.’
    • ‘The response to the first instalment of Dark Alliance was interesting - silence; the rest of the media did not respond.’
    • ‘What is known is that the final instalment will be set years before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy.’
    • ‘Of course we're kidding, Sean will be back next week with the final installment.’
    • ‘The first two published instalments of the manuscript contained material which was drawn from Deist criticisms, though worked out with great thoroughness.’
    • ‘Two more installments of the British documentary series Chaplin Today are offered here.’
    • ‘After the 2003 release of The Return of the King, its final installment, The Lord of the Rings will finally get the chance to be viewed and judged as a whole work.’
    • ‘Is it a mystery, a comedy, a thriller or the last instalment of the X-Files?’
    • ‘But amongst this chaos, Stewart has beamed down to promote Star Trek: Nemesis, the 10th instalment of the feature film series.’
    • ‘Written anonymously, it was published in instalments on the internet and soon became an underground sensation in mainland China's gay community.’
    part, portion, section, segment, division, bit
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  • 3The process of installing something; installation.

    ‘installment will begin early next year’
    • ‘Its instalment has increased the systems capacity to 8,000 of a population.’


Mid 18th century (denoting the arrangement of payment by installments): alteration of obsolete estalment (probably by association with installation), from Anglo-Norman French estalement, from Old French estaler ‘to fix’.