instantly, instantaneously
Instantly means ‘immediately’ and refers to the point at which something happens, whereas instantaneously means ‘in an instant’ and refers to the (imperceptibly short) period of time that something takes:

• He pressed the override switch and the computer came instantly to life —A. Haig, 1974

• Her throat had been slashed viciously, and she must have died almost instantaneously —R. Long, 1990.

The result can often be the same, but the difference of emphasis is worth bearing in mind.

Modern English usage. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • instantaneously — index forthwith, instantly Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • instantaneously — instantaneous ► ADJECTIVE 1) occurring or done instantly. 2) Physics existing or measured at a particular instant. DERIVATIVES instantaneity noun instantaneously adverb instantaneousness noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Instantaneously — Instantaneous In stan*ta ne*ous, a. [Cf. F. instantan[ e].] [1913 Webster] 1. Done or occurring in an instant, or without any perceptible duration of time; as, the passage of electricity appears to be instantaneous. [1913 Webster] His reason saw… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • instantaneously — adverb see instantaneous …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • instantaneously — See instantaneity. * * * …   Universalium

  • instantaneously — adverb Without any delay; in an instantaneous manner. Syn: immediately, in a flash, instantly, outright, right now …   Wiktionary

  • instantaneously — Synonyms and related words: at once, directly, forthwith, immediately, in a flash, in a jiff, in a jiffy, in a twink, in a twinkling, in no time, in nothing flat, in short order, instanter, instantly, just now, just then, momentaneously,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • instantaneously — (Roget s IV) modif. Syn. promptly, directly, at once; see immediately , spontaneously …   English dictionary for students

  • instantaneously — in·stan ta·ne·ous·ly || ‚ɪnstÉ™n teɪnɪəslɪ adv. instantly, immediately, momentarily …   English contemporary dictionary

  • instantaneously — ad.; (also instantly) Immediately, forthwith, instanter, in an instant, on the instant, in a moment, right away, without a moment s delay, all at once, on the moment, on the spur of the moment, in less than no time, quick as thought, quick as… …   New dictionary of synonyms

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