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[French, from Late Latin instantia, from Latin, the fact of being present or impending, vehemence in speech, urgency, from instant- instans insistent, pressing, from present participle of instare to be pressing, stand upon]
: the institution or prosecution of a lawsuit [a court of first ]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.