in·​stead in-ˈsted How to pronounce instead (audio)
: as a substitute or equivalent
was going to write but called instead
: as an alternative to something expressed or implied : rather
longed instead for a quiet country life

Examples of instead in a Sentence

I was offered a ride, but I chose to walk instead.
Recent Examples on the Web Doing away with a conventional dial, hands, and crown, The Freak instead proposed a new system built around a one-hour, orbiting carousel containing parts of the automatic movement — a movement that, in a watch-industry first, featured a silicon escapement. Allen Farmelo, Robb Report, 9 Apr. 2024 Don't rely on pre-squeezed lime and grapefruit juices for your Hemingway Daiquiri; instead, purchase fresh limes and grapefruits and squeeze your own. Taylor Tobin, Southern Living, 9 Apr. 2024 Sol’s mother, Alicia Alvarez, was due next week, Methodist Health System spokesman Ryan Owens said, but her baby instead arrived at 1:04 p.m. as the rest of the town was gazing at the sky. Minnah Arshad, USA TODAY, 9 Apr. 2024 Kahneman, who also wrote the best-selling book Thinking, Fast and Slow, helped debunk the notion that people’s behavior is driven by rational decision-making, and instead is often based on instinct. Diksha Madhok, CNN, 28 Mar. 2024 But Republicans have instead narrowed in on Kansas’ regulations around care. Katie Bernard, Kansas City Star, 28 Mar. 2024 The invasive plant prefers full to partial sun, which leads them to choke out the healthy native plants that should be growing instead. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 28 Mar. 2024 But as the set rolled on, the focus turned instead to the group’s enduring strengths. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rolling Stone, 16 Mar. 2024 Ohanian has invested far more in Angel City than any other board member but does not have a majority of the equity or board control, instead sharing power with co-owners Kara Nortman, a venture capitalist; Julie Urhman, an entertainment executive; and actress Natalie Portman. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'instead.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of instead was in 1667

Dictionary Entries Near instead

Cite this Entry

“Instead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​stead in-ˈsted How to pronounce instead (audio)
: as a substitute
was going to write but called instead

More from Merriam-Webster on instead

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