In"stance (?), n. [F. instance, L. instantia, fr. instans. See Instant.]

1. The act or quality of being instant or pressing; urgency; solicitation; application; suggestion; motion.

Undertook at her instance to restore them.
Sir W. Scott.

2. That which is instant or urgent; motive. [Obs.]

The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love.

3. Occasion; order of occurrence.

These seem as if, in the time of Edward I., they were drawn up into the form of a law, in the first instance.
Sir M. Hale.

4. That which offers itself or is offered as an illustrative case; something cited in proof or exemplification; a case occurring; an example.

Most remarkable instances of suffering.

5. A token; a sign; a symptom or indication. Shak.

Causes of instance, those which proceed at the solicitation of some party. Hallifax. -- Court of first instance, the court by which a case is first tried. -- For instance, by way of example or illustration. -- Instance Court (Law), the Court of Admiralty acting within its ordinary jurisdiction, as distinguished from its action as a prize court.

Syn. -- Example; case. See Example.

In"stance (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Instanced (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Instancing (?).] To mention as a case or example; to refer to; to cite; as, to instance a fact. H. Spenser.

I shall not instance an abstruse author.

In"stance, v. i. To give an example. [Obs.]

This story doth not only instance in kingdoms, but in families too.
Jer. Taylor.