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

Definition of inroad

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

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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

CBD-Infused Beauty Products This year’s breakout star in the wellness space also made considerable inroads in skincare thanks to a raft of new products touting everything from anti-aging benefits to eczema relief. Evelyn Crowley, Vogue, "The 6 Biggest Skincare Breakthroughs of 2018," 19 Dec. 2018 While the lightweight, low-cost convertibles have made serious inroads in schools, most people still see their laptop buying options limited to just two choices: Mac or PC. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Google takes on Apple, Windows with Chromebook attack ad as Amazon slashes Pixelbook prices," 31 July 2018 The move comes a couple of years after Carvana began to make serious inroads in the car sales business by selling refurbished used cars online, delivering them to customers and even driving off with the customers' trade-ins. Gordon Dickson, star-telegram, "Tired of losing business to Carvana, Texas dealerships are selling cars online," 14 June 2018 China’s state firms dominate industries that U.S. firms want to enter, including telecommunications, energy, banking and insurance, and have made inroads into industries Mr. Xi is staking out as top priorities for the future. Bob Davis, WSJ, "Trade Talks Spotlight Role of China’s State-Owned Firms," 26 Jan. 2019 Netflix already has made inroads in the television business. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Netflix Opens Eyes in Hollywood as ‘Bird Box’ Soars," 7 Jan. 2019 Those who felt left behind — like those who were left behind — remained steadfast Democrats, even as the Republican Party made major inroads among the upwardly mobile. Larry Bartels, Washington Post, "White people get more conservative when they move up — not down — economically. Here’s the evidence.," 14 May 2018 Even more important are the inroads Mr. Hurd has made in Hispanic areas on the Rio Grande. Kyle Peterson, WSJ, "Lessons From a Republican Survivor," 4 Jan. 2019 However, the opposition was projected to make spectacular inroads to mayor’s offices in the capital and other prestigious cities. Vanessa Gera, The Seattle Times, "Poland’s ruling populists see power, appeal checked," 22 Oct. 2018

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 1

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Statistics for inroad

Last Updated

24 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for inroad

The first known use of inroad was in 1548

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on inroad

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with inroad

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for inroad

Spanish Central: Translation of inroad

Nglish: Translation of inroad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inroad for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inroad

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one that collects or salvages junk

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