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[in-sted] /ɪnˈstɛd/
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.
Origin of instead
1175-1225; Middle English; orig. phrase in stead in place Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for instead
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But why, instead of consulting us, do you not consult our friend Socrates about the education of the youths?

    Laches Plato
  • I wish my father had intrusted his money to you instead of to the superintendent.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • instead he sucked his lemon, stared at Desmond, and smiled—valiantly.

    The Hill Horace Annesley Vachell
  • instead, it presents, what all too few of us to-day possess, a philosophy of life.

  • I had to ride round the blast once or twice, instead of going through it.

    The Merryweathers Laura E. Richards
British Dictionary definitions for instead


as a replacement, substitute, or alternative
(preposition) instead of, in place of or as an alternative to
Word Origin
C13: from phrase in stead in place
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for instead

1590s, from Middle English ine stede (early 13c.; see stead); loan-translation of Latin in loco (French en lieu de). Still often two words until c.1640.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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