What is the difference between definition and instantiation?
Sub-question: Are "variable definition" and "variable instantiation" the same?
1) variable definitions,
2) variable/object instantiations, and
3) template instantiations.
1 & 3 are specific C++ terminology. 2 is more general terminology that might be used with C++. It is not an "officially" defined term for C++.
I understand that your question is about 1 and 2, but not 3. 3 is different than 2, though related in meaning. I won't address 3 further as I don't believe it is part of your question.
Instantiation is the creation of an object instance. It is more usual to use the term in reference to a class object than something like an int or double.
A C++ variable definition does cause an object of the type being defined to be instantiated. It is, however, possible in C++ to instantiate an object other than via a variable definition.
The variable name, a std::string, is defined and (at run-time) instantiated.
The variable namePointer, a pointer, is defined and might be said (at run-time) to be instantiated (though not initialized). There is no std::string variable and no std::string is instantiated.
//simple example, not what one should usually write in real code namePointer = new std::string("Some Text");
No additional variable is defined. A std::string object is instantiated (at run-time) and the separate and pre-existing namePointer variable also has its value set.