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

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 From Beecher Street, take East Pleasant Run Parkway South Drive instead. Kayla Dwyer, The Indianapolis Star, 2 Dec. 2021 While plot details are covered in cobwebs, it’s been confirmed that the film will not be a period piece, instead taking place in the present day. Alejandra Gularte, Vulture, 2 Dec. 2021 Garcetti spokesman Harrison Wollman said Monday the pandemic forced some departments to pause some programs and instead focus on helping those affected by the crisis. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2021 The pandemic has shown that often, when threatened, governments don’t tend to think globally, choosing instead to look out for themselves. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 So, the mother is not cheating on her husband with Santa, but is instead macking on her husband in a costume. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 1 Dec. 2021 Spotting America's first Omicron case instead may come from an array of public health and commercial labs which the CDC has funded to scale up around the country, largely sequencing tests sampled from cases in the community. Alexander Tin, CBS News, 1 Dec. 2021 The show is also unique in that it is not produced by a trade show company or a group of brands but is instead run by one of the largest retailers in the world, Ahmed Seddiqi and Sons, founded in 1949 and now with over 50 locations in the UAE. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 1 Dec. 2021 Eargasm High-Fidelity Earplugs for $24 ($11 off) Need some earplugs instead? Gear Team, Wired, 30 Nov. 2021

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

3 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Instead.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for instead



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on instead

Nglish: Translation of instead for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instead for Arabic Speakers


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