instance noun

ADJ. countless, innumerable, numerous | occasional, rare | isolated | (any) given, particular, specific Further information is required to determine the correct answer in any given instance. | extreme | striking | classic This is a classic instance of Dostoevsky's writing operating on two levels.

VERB + INSTANCE give, provide North America provides the most striking instance of European settlement on a grand scale. | cite (sth as), take Experts cite the country as an instance where human rights violations could lead to international intervention. To take a particular instance of this problem: … | recall I cannot recall any other instance in modern times in which a huge and mighty state crumbled to dust.

INSTANCE + VERB occur An instance of this controversy occurred last year. | show sth This instance shows how important it is to check that the machine is working properly before you use it.

PREP. for ~ (= for example) Murder, petty theft and tax evasion, for instance, all have different motives and consequences. | in … ~ In one instance, several people had their mobile phones stolen. It is not always helpful to draw analogies between sexism and racism, but in this instance it is useful. | ~ of This is an instance of his general attitude to his employees.

PHRASES in the first instance (formal) In the first instance, a letter from your employer may be all you need.