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

Air France has pledged to replace 210 million single-use plastic items with sustainable versions on all flights by the end of 2019 American airlines have made inroads as well. Jasmin Malik Chua, Vox, "The best $3,000 I ever spent: training for my unruly dog," 9 July 2019 In a land dominated by Premier League football — soccer to novices back in the States — baseball wants to make inroads. Washington Post, "London Calling: Yanks, Red Sox promote MLB’s Euro arrival," 28 June 2019 But air conditioning was slowly gaining acceptance and Carrier was making inroads. Haleema Shah, Smithsonian, "The Unexpected History of the Air Conditioner," 24 June 2019 Mayor Pete Buttigieg: The shooting of a black man by a police officer back in South Bend has kept Buttigieg off the campaign trail and highlighted his struggles to make inroads with black voters. NBC News, "Who won the second Democratic debate?," 28 June 2019 Litigation finance has made inroads with law firms and litigants around the world, with investors committing an estimated $9 billion over the long-term to the growing industry, according to Bloomberg Intelligence., "GE and unions for 6,600 workers reach a deal," 27 June 2019 Aspiration is not just trying to make inroads with dissatisfied Wells Fargo customers. Matt Egan, CNN, "Startup bank Aspiration is trying to be the anti-Wells Fargo. It's working," 25 June 2019 So far, Chinese automakers have made some inroads to European markets. Jack Ewing, New York Times, "The Car Industry Is Under Siege," 6 June 2019 Although cable was making inroads, the three big broadcast networks still dominated television news. Paul Starr, The New York Review of Books, "Fall from Grace," 21 Mar. 2019

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

17 Jul 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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to form ideas or theories about something

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