instant

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Instant

Current or present.

When composing a legal brief, an attorney might use the phrase the instant case in reference to the case currently before the court to distinguish it from other cases discussed.

instant

adjective approaching, at once, at the pressnt time, at this moment, close, close at hand, current, early, existent, forthcoming, forthwith, imminent, in process, looming, near, near at hand, punctual, punctum temporis, ready, simultaneous, speedy, without delay
Associated concepts: instant case, instant motion
See also: crucial, current, expeditious, immediate, imminent, important, insistent, instantaneous, pending, point, present, prompt, rapid, requisite, urgent

INSTANT. An indivisible space of time.
     2. Although it cannot be actually divided, yet by intendment of law, it may be applied to several purposes; for example, he who lays violent hands upon himself, commits no felony till he is dead, and when he is dead he is not in being so as to be termed a felon; but he is so adjudged in law, eo instante, at the very instant this fact is done. Vin. Ab. Instant, A, pl. 2; Plowd. 258; Co. Litt. 18; Show. 415.

References in classic literature ?
The instant this unwelcome sight caught the eye of the scout, his rifle was leveled as by instinct, but the barrel gave no answer to the bright sparks of the flint.
I was a little late on the scene, and I felt, as he stood wistfully looking out for me before the door of the inn at which the coach had put him down, that I had seen him, on the instant, without and within, in the great glow of freshness, the same positive fragrance of purity, in which I had, from the first moment, seen his little sister.
In an instant all the strength of mind of this creature, though drawn from the most vigorous sources, abandoned her; she sank into a large easy chair, with her arms crossed, her head lowered, and expecting every instant to see a judge enter to interrogate her.
He found himself at moments - once he had placed his single light on some mantel-shelf or in some recess - stepping back into shelter or shade, effacing himself behind a door or in an embrasure, as he had sought of old the vantage of rock and tree; he found himself holding his breath and living in the joy of the instant, the supreme suspense created by big game alone.
But Mull swears it is the solemn fact that the lawyer, after shaking his knotted fists in the air for an instant, simply ran from the room and never reappeared in the countryside; and since then Exmoor has been feared more for a warlock than even for a landlord and a magistrate.
she said, waving her hand in the impatience of a person whose tortures cause every instant to seem an hour.
Miss Tilney gently hinted her fear of being late; and in half a minute they ran downstairs together, in an alarm not wholly unfounded, for General Tilney was pacing the drawing-room, his watch in his hand, and having, on the very instant of their entering, pulled the bell with violence, ordered "Dinner to be on table directly
To have followed the thern boat across the gleaming water would have been to invite instant detection, and so, though I was loath to permit Thurid to pass even for an instant beyond my sight, I was forced to wait in the shadows until the other boat had passed from my sight at the far extremity of the lake.
This reasoning, however, seemed to end in a paradox, and lead to the further consideration:--"What matter though it be only disease, an abnormal tension of the brain, if when I recall and analyze the moment, it seems to have been one of harmony and beauty in the highest degree--an instant of deepest sensation, overflowing with unbounded joy and rapture, ecstatic devotion, and completest life?
It was soon seen, notwithstanding the darkness, that some sort of agitation reigned on board the vessel, from the side of which a skiff was lowered, of which the three rowers, bending to their oars, took the direction of the port, and in a few instants struck land at the foot of the fort.
A few instants after the echo of the reports resounding over the stone-built Kremlin had died away the French heard a strange sound above their head.
For every feat of telescoping long days and weeks of life into mad magnificent instants, one must pay with shortened life, and, oft-times, with savage usury added.