Pronunciation: (in'stunt),[key] —n. 1. an infinitesimal or very short space of time; a moment: They arrived not an instant too soon. 2. the point of time now present or present with reference to some action or event.
3. a particular moment: at the instant of contact. 4. a food or beverage, esp. coffee, specially processed for quick preparation.
5. Older Use.the present or current month.
—adj. 1. succeeding without any interval of time; prompt; immediate: instant relief from a headache. 2. pressing or urgent: instant need. 3. noting a food or beverage requiring a minimal amount of time and effort to prepare, as by heating or the addition of milk or water, before being served or used: instant coffee; instant pudding. 4. occurring, done, or prepared with a minimal amount of time and effort; produced rapidly and with little preparation: an instant book; instant answers; instant history. 5. designed to act or produce results quickly or immediately: an instant lottery. 6. Older Use.of the present month: your letter of the 12th instant. Abbr.: inst. Cf. proximo, ultimo. 7. present; current: the instant case before the court.