in·​stead | \in-ˈsted \

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

The explanation is much deeper than swoon-worthy looks or tight dance moves, but instead, their music connecting fans (known as the ARMY) from all over the world and the member's devotion to their craft. Jeff Benjamin, Teen Vogue, "BTS's Movie "Burn the Stage" Shows the Group's Unwavering Dedication to Their Music," 20 Nov. 2018 Any winner who isn’t over 55—or just doesn’t want to relocate—will instead get a townhome in a separate community or $150,000 cash. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "‘Wheel of Fortune’ Is Giving Away a House in Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville," 23 Oct. 2018 Obama dispensed of a shirt, wearing nothing underneath instead, and accessorized with simple black pumps that were equally as refined. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Michelle Obama Steps Out in a Holiday Party–Worthy Tuxedo," 19 Nov. 2018 Apple completely dropped Qualcomm for its latest iPhones, choosing instead to get modems from Intel. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Apple targets Qualcomm employees with new job listings," 15 Nov. 2018 Spice shaker set: Leave all the bulky spice jars at home and instead camp with something simple and slim like this six-piece set ($21.99). Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 But, when work commitments got in the way of things, he was forced to improvise and ended up proposing in their living room instead. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Who is Karl Glusman? Zoë Kravtiz Confirms She's Been Secretly Engaged to the Actor For Months," 30 Oct. 2018 What might have appeared formulaic or contrived if done by stars less chameleonic and down-to-earth than Cooper and Gaga, instead feels pure, alive, and mystifying. Nick Williams, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Star Is Born," 30 Oct. 2018 Opt for shams instead and keep the larger bed acreage neutral. Lauren Hubbard, ELLE Decor, "The Best Bed Linens for Every Design Style," 18 Sep. 2018

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

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for instead

The first known use of instead was in 1667

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More Definitions for instead


in·​stead | \in-ˈsted \

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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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