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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 In·stance n.
 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.   --Shak.
 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; as, we could find no instance of poisoning in the town within the past year.
    Most remarkable instances of suffering.   --Atterbury.
 5. A token; a sign; a symptom or indication.
 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; for example.
 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.