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


first, rather

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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

Experts caution people not to touch the worms with their bare hands, and instead use gloves or disposable forceps. Fox News, "Texas woman discovers horde of black worms known to carry dangerous parasite in backyard," 4 July 2019 Take a cue from Wilson and use colorful hair extensions instead. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "A Red, White, and Blue Hairstyle Is Going Viral on Instagram — Just in Time for the Fourth of July," 3 July 2019 The Austrian appeared to push for a move to the Chinese Super League during the most recent January transfer window but never saw a deal materialise, instead being rewarded with a new £100k-a-week contract by West Ham., "Marko Arnautovic Hands in Transfer Request at West Ham as Chinese Interest Resurfaces," 2 July 2019 Then, the system will be stacked atop the Space Launch System, the most powerful rocket in the world built by Boeing, instead. Chabeli Herrera,, "NASA’s Orion astronaut capsule endures intense test over the Space Coast. Up next: The moon," 2 July 2019 But the issues are now years in the making and include a neighborhood revitalization scheme that was designed to revitalize the small city but instead has been widely criticized as being burdensome to people of color. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "In The Presidential Debate, Biden and Buttigieg Fall Short on Race: RaceAhead," 28 June 2019 Skrocki instead would like to see mandatory or consistent wildlife values used in federal sentencing. National Geographic, "In the Alaska-Yukon wilderness, wildlife crime fighters face a daunting task," 25 June 2019 The women’s team had instead asked for an increase to their marketing budget, a request that was denied. M.s., The Economist, "Women’s football is flourishing, on the pitch and off it," 24 June 2019 The problem: consumers haven’t gravitated toward zero-emission electric vehicles in large numbers but instead have switched to gasoline-powered cars, which contributed 59.3% of European new car sales in the first quarter. William Boston, WSJ, "EU Auto Makers Have to Sell More Electric Cars as New Emission Targets Loom," 21 June 2019

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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Statistics for instead

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for instead

The first known use of instead was in 1667

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on instead

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with instead

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for instead

Spanish Central: Translation of instead

Nglish: Translation of instead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instead for Arabic Speakers

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).


food or victuals

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