in·​road | \ ˈin-ˌrōd How to pronounce inroad (audio) \

Definition of inroad

1 : an advance or penetration often at the expense of someone or something usually used in plural
2 : a sudden hostile incursion : raid

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Did you know?

Inroad is a combination of in and road, both of which are pretty mundane, as far as words go. But the first-and oldest-meaning of inroad hints at a meaning of road other than the "way for traveling" one. Beginning back in the days of Old English, road referred to an armed hostile incursion made on horseback. (Raid comes from this use of road and also formerly specified incursions on horseback.) Road has lost all of its former violent connotations, and inroad is shedding its as well. While inroads are often made at the expense of someone or something, they are at times simply advances, as when an artist is said to be making inroads into a community.

Examples of inroad in a Sentence

the army is finally making inroads into enemy territory
Recent Examples on the Web That isn’t to say Billionaire Status will not accelerate Beijing as a Family Office jurisdiction and the new title might not be the only inroad. Paul Westall, Forbes, 25 May 2021 That same year, a Pulse Secure VPN flaw offered an inroad for a ransomware group to hold up Travelex, a travel insurance company, for millions of dollars. Brian Barrett, Wired, 25 Apr. 2021 Phishing apps offer a potentially valuable inroad for hackers, who can potentially trick victim into giving away permissions that allow deep access to their devices. Brian Barrett, Wired, 6 Feb. 2021 Many companies have tried to develop the sci-fi technology over the years, but none have made much of an inroad because of clunky designs, poor displays, high prices, and privacy concerns. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, 10 Jan. 2021 WebLogic servers are a coveted prize for hackers, who often use them to mine cryptocurrency, install ransomware, or as an inroad to access other parts of a corporate network. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 1 Dec. 2020 One woman says her shoes offered a deeper inroad to understanding herself than anything else ever has. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, 25 Sep. 2020 Thinking about a person’s deep memetic frames provides a promising inroad. Whitney Phillips, Wired, 24 Sep. 2020 The goal of the Abecedarian Project, as it was called, was not to see whether quality childcare could be an inroad for greater racial or economic equity. Kendra Hurley, Good Housekeeping, 10 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inroad.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inroad

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for inroad

Last Updated

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Inroad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for inroad



English Language Learners Definition of inroad

used to describe a situation in which someone or something becomes more successful or important often by making someone or something else less successful usually plural usually used with make


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