Definition of “instance” - English Dictionary

“instance” in British English

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instancenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈɪn.stəns/ us /ˈɪn.stəns/

C1 a particular situation, event, or fact, especially an example of something that happens generally:

There have been several instances of violence at the school.
I don't usually side with the management, but in this instance I agree with what they're saying.

More examples

  • There have already been several instances of deadly violence in the past few weeks involving returning refugees.
  • He noted that there have been instances in earthquakes when survivors were found after days of looking.
  • Over a third of women who replied to the questionnaire cited instances of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • These companies don't have the people resources; in certain instances, they don't have the expertise.
  • Over 20 instances of sexual misconduct are currently being investigated.


instanceverb [ T ]

uk /ˈɪn.stəns/ us /ˈɪn.stəns/ UK formal

(Definition of “instance” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“instance” in American English

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instancenoun [ C ]

us /ˈɪn·stəns/

a particular situation, event, or fact:

There were several instances of computer failure before we got the system to work properly.
Usually this kind of skin condition is caused by a food allergy, but in this instance it may be caused by the medicine you are taking.
Can you tell us a little about your background? For instance (= As an example), where were you born?

(Definition of “instance” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)