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 Luther could’ve argued against the constitutionality of the stay-at-home orders at the May 11 hearing but instead chose to stay open, Correa said. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Who is Eric Moyé, the Dallas judge who jailed salon owner Shelley Luther?," 7 May 2020 The World Naked Bike Ride will now be celebrated, instead, as World Naked Bike Ride Day. Alicia Lee, CNN, "Organizers of Portland's Naked Bike Ride encourage participants to carry on by themselves," 5 May 2020 Aristotle balked at the notion, instead viewing time as unbounded. Quanta Magazine, "Arrows of Time," 5 May 2020 Unlike a traditional documentary, Portable Park eschews a human narrator and instead lets the park speak for itself, with bubbling geysers, howling wolves, and grunting bison stealing the spotlight. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "Take a Virtual Tour of Yellowstone National Park with Airstream," 1 May 2020 For those who prefer a matte finish instead, Maybelline Color Sensational also comes in 30 additional matte shades. Good Housekeeping, "GH Seal Spotlight: Maybelline Color Sensational The Creams Lipstick," 1 May 2020 For once, not complaining about his messy hands, and instead marveling at his ability to make something all by himself. Marisa Bardach Ramel, Better Homes & Gardens, "Baking With My Kids Reminds Me Life Is Messy But Wonderful, Too," 1 May 2020 People should avoid using hospital-grade masks in order to preserve supplies for health care workers, and instead, use a homemade cloth that covers the nose and mouth. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: April 1-2," 24 Apr. 2020 Mimicking approaches used by Russian trolls, Chinese agents do not create all the messages, but, instead, help amplify the existing ones. Fox News, "China promoting US lockdown protests, spreading coronavirus misinformation online: report," 23 Apr. 2020

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

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Instead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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How to pronounce instead (audio)

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with instead

Spanish Central: Translation of instead

Nglish: Translation of instead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instead for Arabic Speakers

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