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 ?
Basilio and Quiteria having thus joined hands, the priest, deeply moved and with tears in his eyes, pronounced the blessing upon them, and implored heaven to grant an easy passage to the soul of the newly wedded man, who, the instant he received the blessing, started nimbly to his feet and with unparalleled effrontery pulled out the rapier that had been sheathed in his body.
The boy turned and fled, and at the same instant the lioness charged.
Let us be armed, the same as we were the other night, but lose no time, there is not an instant to spare.
At the same instant his friend grabbed it from the other side.
For an instant, without an exclamation, without a cry for help, Athos tried to sustain himself on the surface of the waters, but the weight dragged him down; he disappeared by degrees; soon nothing was to be seen except his long, floating hair; then both men disappeared and the bubbling of the water, which, in its turn, was soon effaced, alone indicated the spot where these two had sunk.
Even without the glossy green hide and the metal ornaments which denoted the tribes to which they belonged, I would have known them on the instant for what they were, for where else in all the universe is their like duplicated?
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.
But he forgot himself in an instant, and gave me a lead through the saloon with a boyish eagerness that made me actually suspicious as I ran.
It was voiced to freeze her poor victims in a paralysis of terror for the tiny fraction of an instant which would suffice for her mighty claws to sink into their soft flesh and hold them beyond hope of escape.
the solid rocks cracked to their base, and separated like blocks beneath the operation of the wedge; a portion of the vault was carried up towards heaven, as if it had been built of cardboard; the green and blue and topaz conflagration and black lava of liquefactions clashed and combated an instant beneath a majestic dome of smoke; then oscillated, declined, and fell successively the mighty monoliths of rock which the violence of the explosion had not been able to uproot from the bed of ages; they bowed to each other like grave and stiff old men, then prostrating themselves, lay down forever in their dusty tomb.
They fell upon the landing-stage for a brief instant, revealing the figures of the Ptarthian guard, picking into brilliant points of fire the gems upon their gorgeous harnesses.
Here the reptile stopped and commenced to go over the poor devil carefully, and as it did so its back turned toward me for an instant, and in that instant I gave two mighty leaps that carried me out of the chamber into the corridor beyond, down which I raced with all the speed I could command.