[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. instantly,
  2. instar,
  3. instate,
  4. instatement,
  5. instauration,
  6. instead of,
  7. instep,
  8. instigant,
  9. instigate,
  10. instigation


    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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in-stead of


/ (ɪnˈstɛd) /


as a replacement, substitute, or alternative
instead of (preposition) in place of or as an alternative to

Word Origin for instead

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

Word Origin and History for in-stead of



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