English

Definition of instance noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

    

instance

 noun
noun
BrE BrE//ˈɪnstəns//
 
; NAmE NAmE//ˈɪnstəns//
 
 
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  •  a particular example or case of something The report highlights a number of instances of injustice. In most instances, there will be no need for further treatment. I would normally suggest taking time off work, but in this instance I'm not sure that would do any good. Synonymsexamplecase instance specimen illustrationThese are all words for a thing or situation that is typical of a particular group or set, and is sometimes used to support an argument.example something such as an object, a fact or a situation that shows, explains or supports what you say; a thing that is typical of or represents a particular group or set:Can you give me an example of what you mean?case a particular situation or a situation of a particular type; a situation that relates to a particular person or thing:In some cases people have had to wait several weeks for an appointment.instance (rather formal) a particular situation or a situation of a particular type:The report highlights a number of instances of injustice.specimen an example of something, especially an animal or plant:The aquarium has some interesting specimens of unusual tropical fish.illustration (rather formal) a story, an event or an example that clearly shows the truth about something:The statistics are a clear illustration of the point I am trying to make.example or illustration? An illustration is often used to show that something is true. An example is used to help to explain something.Patterns a(n) example/​case/​instance/​specimen/​illustration of something in a particular case/​instance for example/​instance
  • Word Origin late 16th cent. (in its current sense): from medieval Latin instantia ‘example to the contrary’ (translating Greek enstasis ‘objection’); hence the meaning “single occurrence”.Extra examples Experts cite the country as an instance where human rights violations could lead to international intervention. Further information is required to determine the correct answer in any given instance. I cannot recall any other instance in modern times in which a huge and mighty state crumbled to dust. In one instance, several people had their mobile phones stolen. In the first instance, a letter from your employer may be all you need. It is not always helpful to draw analogies between sexism and racism, but in this instance it is useful. It is not always helpful to draw analogies, but in this instance it is useful. Murder, petty theft and tax evasion, for instance, all have different motives and consequences. North America provides the most striking instance of European settlement on a grand scale. Students described many instances in which they had felt uncomfortable speaking in class. There are many documented instances of mass hysteria. This instance shows how important it is to check that the machine is working properly before you use it. This is a classic instance of Dostoevsky’s writing operating on two levels. This is an instance of his general attitude to his employees. This is one of the few instances where the director does not succeed. To take a particular instance of this problem:… I would normally suggest taking time off work, but in this instance I’m not sure that would do any good. What would you do, for instance, if you found an employee stealing.Idioms  for example What would you do, for instance, if you found a member of staff stealing? Language Banke.g.Giving examples The website has a variety of interactive exercises (e.g. matching games, crosswords and quizzes). The website has a variety of interactive exercises, including matching games, crosswords and quizzes. Web 2.0 technologies, such as wikis, blogs and social networking sites, have changed the way that people use the Internet. Many websites now allow users to contribute information. A good example of this is the ‘wiki’, a type of website that anyone can edit. Wikis vary in how open they are. For example, some wikis allow anybody to edit content, while others only allow registered users to do this. Wikis vary in how open they are. Some wikis, for example/for instance, allow anybody to edit content, while others only allow registered users to do this. More and more people read their news on the Internet. To take one example, over 14 million people now read the online version of ‘The Oxford Herald’. Online newspapers are now more popular than paper ones. ‘The Oxford Herald’ is a case in point. Its print circulation has fallen in recent years, while its website attracts millions of users every month.  (formal) as the first part of a series of actions In the first instance, notify the police and then contact your insurance company.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: instance

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