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

By today’s standards, SVH’s characters are woefully homogenous — but Pascal intentionally made some inroads with diversity later in the series. Kristen Baldwin,, "Sweet Valley High," 16 Aug. 2019 To win an election in which more than a hundred and thirty million people vote, a candidate has to make some inroads into the center ground. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "There Is Nothing Strategic About Trump’s Racism," 19 July 2019 Volkswagen made some inroads on the American market, too. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Endangered species? SUVs squeezing out affordable, entry-level cars," 22 June 2019 In terms of healthcare, Florida has made some inroads in providing the health services the senior population requires. Cindy Krischer Goodman,, "Bring on the early-bird dinners. Floridians are getting older," 21 June 2019 Sullivan made inroads in the Senate this year when Texas Scorecard was granted press credentials for the upper chamber. Dallas News, "Michael Quinn Sullivan's secret audio of Texas House speaker blurs line between journalism, activism," 22 Aug. 2019 Chinese entrepreneurs looking to make early inroads in nascent markets started moving to Africa. CNN, "How China is slowly expanding its power in Africa, one TV set at a time," 23 July 2019 Yet, despite making massive inroads, the Russian Federation is still less influential than the US and China on the continent. János Besenyő, Quartz Africa, "Russia is vying to offer African countries a credible alternative to the US and China," 4 June 2019 Brisket has even made inroads in European and Asian markets, a feat considering that countries like Japan have largely shunned U.S. beef in recent years. Sarah Min, CBS News, "Brisket prices soar on growing appetite for barbecue," 2 Aug. 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

11 Sep 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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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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