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. 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 ?
At the same moment a girl's shriek rang out behind me and an instant later, as the blacks fell upon me.
For an instant the blacks pressed close to reach me with their shorter swords, but presently they gave back, and the esteem in which they suddenly had learned to hold my sword arm was writ large upon each countenance.
Looking up in an enforced pause, I saw Santos whispering in the skipper's ear, with the expression of a sphinx but no lack of foreign gesticulation - behind them a fringe of terror-stricken faces, parted at that instant by two more figures, as wild and strange as any in that wild, strange scene.
His adjectives were too foul for print; they were given with such a special effort at distinctness, however, that I was smiling one instant, and giving thanks the next that Eva Denison had not come forward with her guardian.
For an instant I stood there watching with Dian at my side.
He was still three paces, however, from his victim's side when John upon the cliff above plucked up a huge boulder, and, poising it for an instant, dropped it with fatal aim upon the slinger beneath him.
At the same instant his friend grabbed it from the other side.
Together they launched themselves upon me, and though I ran one of them through the heart on the instant, the other fastened its gleaming fangs about my sword arm above the elbow, and then with her sharp talons commenced to rake me about the body, evidently intent upon disemboweling me.
Sing levelled his revolver and fired at the foremost, and at the same instant Professor Maxon, with a shrill, maniacal scream, launched himself full upon a second.
The boy turned and fled, and at the same instant the lioness charged.
The other thern was engaging me at the time, and I was forcing him back--touching him here and there with my point until he was bleeding from a dozen wounds, yet not being able to penetrate his marvelous guard to reach a vulnerable spot for the brief instant that would have been sufficient to send him to his ancestors.
I saw his wild endeavors to regain his equilibrium; I saw him reel drunkenly for an instant upon the brink of eternity and then, with a loud scream, slip into the sea.