Meaning of instead in English:


Pronunciation /ɪnˈstɛd/

See synonyms for instead

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  • 1As an alternative or substitute.

    ‘do not use lotions, but put on a clean dressing instead’
    • ‘she never married, preferring instead to remain single’
    • ‘Even as a baby she did not gurgle or babble in her cot and instead remained silent.’
    • ‘So do they list a number for you to call instead, rather than waiting for them to call you back?’
    • ‘I need to either find a way to make this clearer, or put complete entries on the page instead.’
    • ‘Time to switch this computer off and go and do something more interesting instead.’
    • ‘So we came back with a new chopping board, a wooden tray, and a packet of coat hangers instead.’
    • ‘You could have really done something to help change the world, but what did you do instead?’
    • ‘All that's missing are the lyrics, but true fans of the music can sing along instead.’
    • ‘How about putting a taste of open and honest debate about everything on the menu instead?’
    • ‘Many parents are choosing to send their kids to school with packed lunches instead.’
    • ‘The cell buzzers were silenced at night and instead a light lit up on the sergeant's desk.’
    • ‘It may be possible to provide a side or back entrance instead, where there's no step.’
    • ‘They did not set a new level, but instead voted to go for the lowest possible tax.’
    • ‘He doesn't do it every day because sometimes his wife will make him pick up a hammer instead.’
    • ‘I pressed him on whether he really did want to work in the bookshop or wanted to study instead.’
    • ‘His decision instead to publish on the eve of polling day is a small but clear signal of defiance.’
    • ‘Not only was he happy for it to be used but he offered his new 12 minute version instead.’
    • ‘Those individuals will simply buy a new car instead, whether they can afford it or not.’
    • ‘My cousin had one that used to smoke, but he trained it out of that and got it doing exercise instead.’
    • ‘Why don't you turn off your monitor and go off and do something less boring instead?’
    • ‘It kind of is rubbish too seeing that it isn't really a film at all but instead is an album set to visuals.’
    as an alternative, as a substitute, as a replacement, in lieu, alternatively
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1instead ofAs a substitute or alternative to; in place of.
      ‘walk to work instead of going by car’
      • ‘They will try to find alternate means and may have a sandwich instead of a proper meal.’
      • ‘The move will see the regular grey bin collected on a fortnightly instead of a weekly basis.’
      • ‘In front of it, however, instead of a courtyard or public square, there is a car park.’
      • ‘Some have made speaking only English a point of national pride instead of a disgrace.’
      • ‘It was a rude reminder of all the reasons I cycle instead of taking public transport.’
      • ‘It is time the people on this estate stood up to these youths instead of burying our heads in the sand.’
      • ‘As a result, meetings can take place in my office instead of using a committee room.’
      • ‘In between meals try to fill up on nuts and fruit instead of crisps and chocolate.’
      • ‘They hope it will become a place children will use instead of hanging about on the streets.’
      • ‘Perhaps Bradford might then be the vibrant city it once was instead of looking so lost.’
      • ‘We are very grateful for the family asking for donations for us instead of flowers.’
      • ‘So instead of leaving them in plain view in the kitchen, put them somewhere out of sight.’
      • ‘Royal Mail deserves a gold star for this, instead of all the complaints in the media.’
      • ‘I'd make it for a whole year instead of the eight weeks it had turned into by the time it stopped.’
      • ‘It may even appeal to the woman who wants to buy her husband a diamond instead of the other way around.’
      • ‘I mean pretty soon instead of being able to pick who we want to marry others will be picking for us.’
      • ‘He also has to show that he can be a useful member of society instead of being regarded as a parasite.’
      • ‘He said random tests to check the cars' condition could be used instead of an age limit.’
      • ‘Take the stairs instead of the lift to add a few extra steps to your daily regime.’
      • ‘This is the first time we have known what we are going to be doing over three years, instead of one.’
      as an alternative to, as a substitute for, as a replacement for, in place of, in lieu of, in preference to
      View synonyms


Middle English (originally as two words): from in+ stead.