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

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, as well as inroad, has lost its violent connotation. 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 Black art provides an inroad into history, and with the help of art historians and Black people telling Black stories, forgotten pasts and sensibilities can be brought into the light. Cassandra Pintro, Vogue, 28 June 2022 Influencers remain an essential inroad to audiences on social media, even though your business may not think of this directly as PR. Colby Flood, Forbes, 13 June 2022 The deal, unveiled in Cannes, gives MAD a critical inroad into the competitive art-house sector in the U.S., where Arab cinema has been largely reliant on festival exposure until now. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 May 2022 The partnership will extend the reach of MAD Solutions’ theatrical distribution operations, giving it an inroad into the U.S. arthouse sector where so far Arab cinema has been largely reliant on festival exposure. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 17 May 2022 While the mathematics of those models remains largely impenetrable, the results offer an inroad to understanding. Quanta Magazine, 14 Apr. 2022 Some people saw the call-center job as a way to fund arty outside ambitions, Miranda said; others wanted an inroad into tech. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2022 Late-night writers generally celebrated at yet another inroad to make ivermectin jokes. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 9 Oct. 2021 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 See More

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.

First Known Use of inroad

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Last Updated

4 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Inroad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on inroad

Nglish: Translation of inroad for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inroad for Arabic Speakers


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