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
inroad was our Word of the Day on 03/15/2014. Hear the podcast!
Examples of inroad in a sentence
the army is finally making inroads into enemy territory
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.
First Known Use of inroad
Seen and Heard
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