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 change is linked to a Department of Natural Resources decision to remove law enforcement credentials from park rangers and instead have wardens provide more coverage in state parks. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin warden shortage and changes in responsibilities raise concerns," 14 July 2018 Judicial reform groups, including Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, have instead advocated merit selection of judges, contending that system will result in a fairer and more independent judiciary. Liz Navratil,, "Pa. Supreme Court justices got more than $180K in donations from law firms in clergy abuse case, records show," 11 July 2018 Oswego decided against having its fireworks display Wednesday due to the weather and will instead have them July 5. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "Many Aurora area fireworks shows canceled due to storms," 4 July 2018 In each of the dozen demos, the focus wasn’t so much on the power of these new MacBooks, but instead on the idea that the Mac platform is the lynchpin of a vibrant and capable ecosystem that enables creators to create things. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Apple’s new MacBook Pros have the latest Intel processors and quieter keyboards," 12 July 2018 Meghan ditched the fascinator this time around and instead simply accessorized with a brown Strathberry bag, Vanessa Tugendhaft earrings, and tan suede pumps. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Paid Homage to Ireland in a Green Givenchy Outfit," 10 July 2018 What happened instead has been a surprisingly smooth path to Wednesday night’s semifinal against Croatia, as a youthful and undaunted England side swept away a nation’s pessimism. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "England’s Unfamiliar Emotion: Hope," 10 July 2018 The bill would also prohibit male prison guards from entering areas where female inmates are undressed and instead would require them to announce their arrival at their housing units. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Kim Kardashian Calls on Gov. Jerry Brown to Protect Female Inmates by Signing California Bill Into Law," 9 July 2018 But in the end Trump couldn’t do it, and went with Brett Kavanaugh instead. Rebecca Traister, The Cut, "With Brett Kavanaugh, Trump Passes Up the Chance to Have a Woman Do His Dirty Work," 9 July 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

12 Oct 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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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).


one that holds something together

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