Instant

(redirected from instantly)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

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 ?
Tell him I must see him again--must speak to him instantly.-- I cannot rest--I shall not have a moment's peace till this is explained--some dreadful misapprehension or other.-- Oh go to him this moment."
An appalling unearthly report followed instantly, such as can be compared to nothing whatever known, not even to the roar of thunder, or the blast of volcanic explosions!
Calling back the servant, therefore, she commissioned him, though in so breathless an accent as made her almost unintelligible, to fetch his master and mistress home instantly.
Go instantly and seek her, and when she is found implore the gift of another stone with similar powers.
He instantly put spurs to his steed, and scoured off followed by the panic-stricken herd, their fright being increased by the yells of the savages in their rear.
D'Artagnan went instantly in search of the inn, and easily discovered it by the riotous noise which resounded from it.
D'Artagnan went instantly to the hay dealer and bargained with him for a hundred and fifty trusses of straw, which he obtained, at the rate of three pistoles each.
Viewed as a portion of one's own biography, it is, I must admit, very distressing!" He groaned, but instantly added, with a chuckle, "As to myself, I think you mentioned that I am--"
"Let 'em have it!" commanded the tug-captain, and instantly revolvers and rifles poured bullets upon the deck of the submersible.
I instantly wrote to Geneva; nearly two months have elapsed since the departure of my letter.
But thou shalt know thy fate instantly. First let us speak of thy master; the knight's matters must go before the squire's, according to the due order of chivalry.
This idea struck me at the moment, and I instantly determined that an accidental dispute, in which I might probably be as much to blame as himself, should not deprive you of your brother.