in·​stead | \ in-ˈsted How to pronounce instead (audio) \

Definition of instead

1 : as a substitute or equivalent was going to write but called instead
2 : as an alternative to something expressed or implied : rather longed instead for a quiet country life

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Synonyms for instead


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Examples of instead in a Sentence

I was offered a ride, but I chose to walk instead.
Recent Examples on the Web Biden, instead, is adjusting the allocation limits set by former President Donald Trump, which officials said have been the driving factor in limiting refugee admissions. Zeke Miller And Aamer Madhani,, "President Biden signs order to speed refugee admissions, but doesn’t lift Trump’s historically low cap," 16 Apr. 2021 Hospitals don’t expect the crunch to ease after the pandemic fades, but instead to worsen, because so many people have been deterred from entering the industry. Bryce Covert, The Atlantic, "The Year That Broke America’s Health-Care Workers," 16 Apr. 2021 But critics contend the reform would cause middle- and low-income homeowners whose roofs get damaged to fall deeply into debt to cover their portions, or be forced to forgo repairs and instead live with blue tarps or leaks. Ron Hurtibise,, "Insurance reform proposals could hurt consumers, critics say," 16 Apr. 2021 Try attracting birds with these 13 native plants instead. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: A World War II hero comes home," 16 Apr. 2021 The experts believe that a kids version of Instagram will instead attract younger kids without an account. Terry Collins, USA TODAY, "Cancel Instagram for kids: It 'preys' on children's fear of missing out, advocates say to Zuckerberg," 16 Apr. 2021 All-American originally committed to Arizona before an FBI investigation into his recruiter led him instead to sign with Villanova. Mike Rodak |, al, "Nate Oats: Alabama has been on ‘positive side’ of transfer portal," 16 Apr. 2021 But the search committee named Tulane President Sheldon Hackney instead, news Dr. Gregorian received on his car radio. Washington Post, "Vartan Gregorian, transformative civic leader and tireless educator, dies at 87," 16 Apr. 2021 Biden, instead, is adjusting the allocation limits set by former President Donald Trump, which officials said have been the driving factor in limiting refugee admissions., "Biden speeds refugee admission but doesn’t lift Trump cap," 16 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'instead.' 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 instead

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for instead

Time Traveler

The first known use of instead was in 1667

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Statistics for instead

Last Updated

19 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for instead



English Language Learners Definition of instead

used to say that one thing is done or that one thing or person is chosen when another is not chosen, cannot be done, etc. often + of


in·​stead | \ in-ˈsted How to pronounce instead (audio) \

Kids Definition of instead

: as a substitute I was going to write but called instead.

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Comments on instead

What made you want to look up instead? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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