in·​road | \ ˈin-ˌrōd \

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

Huawei, which has risen to become the world’s number two smartphone maker, has been blocked from making inroads with US mobile carriers. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Washington Redskins reportedly backed out of Huawei Wi-Fi deal because of government concerns," 26 Dec. 2018 Visitors included Paul Erickson, a Republican operative who would become Butina’s romantic partner in the U.S. and help her make inroads with the American right, according to U.S. prosecutors. Matthew Bodner, The Seattle Times, "Misfire: Maria Butina’s strange route from Russia to U.S. jail," 10 Sep. 2018 New restrictions, put in place by Washington after U.S. intelligence agencies found Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election, have hastened Moscow’s efforts to build inroads with the Chinese. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Russian Troops Gear Up for Massive War Games With Chinese Military," 28 Aug. 2018 That has greatly complicated access Afghan merchants and farmers have to India’s huge and growing market, while hampering Indian efforts to make inroads into Afghanistan and beyond that into Central Asia. Rajesh Roy, WSJ, "Iranian Port Project Poses a Dilemma for U.S.," 28 Oct. 2018 As Nixon’s political strategist, Kevin Phillips, told the New York Times in 1970: All the talk about Republicans making inroads into the Negro vote is persiflage. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Max Boot, Jackie Robinson, and the racism problem in the Republican Party," 12 Oct. 2018 The streaming service has been making inroads into the TV awards circuit but is still struggling with movie festivals. Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle, "Here's who got snubbed at the Emmy nominations," 12 July 2018 But shortly after, Wild Heaven began concentrating its capacity on its Georgia market and only recently was able to branch out after making inroads into Tennessee. William Thornton,, "Auburn grad's Wild Heaven Beer now available in Alabama," 5 Mar. 2018 Alphabet Inc’s Google has led a $120 million investment in Chushou, a Chinese live-stream mobile game platform Chushou, as the U.S. tech giant seeks new inroads into China despite a ban on its search engine services there. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "Hollywood's China Challenge," 6 Jan. 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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in rough

Statistics for inroad

Last Updated

2 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for inroad

The first known use of inroad was in 1548

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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

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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