as a substitute or replacement; in the place or stead of someone or something: We ordered tea but were served coffee instead.
in preference; as a preferred or accepted alternative: The city has its pleasures, but she wished instead for the quiet of country life.
instead of, in place of; in lieu of: You can use milk instead of cream in this recipe.

1175–1225; Middle English; orig. phrase in stead in place Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
instead (ɪnˈstɛd)
1.  as a replacement, substitute, or alternative
2.  (preposition) instead of in place of or as an alternative to
[C13: from phrase in stead in place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1590s, from M.E. ine stede (early 13c.; see stead); still often two words until after c.1640. A loan-translation of L. in loco (Fr. en lieu de).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Go for simple flowering plants instead of the double-flower varieties.
Companies cut software donations and instead make deals with colleges.
Instead of the movie a box pops up directing you to a service hotline that is
  obviously less than helpful.
If you've been buying sports gels to keep you going during your workout, you
  might want to try honey instead.
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