instead of

Save This Word!

Also, in lieu of; in place of; in someone's stead. In substitution for, rather than. For example, She wore a dress instead of slacks, or They had a soprano in lieu of a tenor, or In place of soft drinks they served fruit juice, or The chairman spoke in her stead. Instead of dates from about 1200; in lieu of, which borrows lieu, meaning “place,” from French, dates from the late 1200s; in place of dates from the 1500s; and in someone's stead from the 1200s. Also see under in someone's shoes.

There are grammar debates that never die; and the ones highlighted in the questions in this quiz are sure to rile everyone up once again. Do you know how to answer the questions that cause some of the greatest grammar debates?
Question 1 of 7
Which sentence is correct?
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


What does instead of mean?

Instead of is a phrase that means rather than or in place of. It is used to present an alternative or a substitute.

Instead of is used to contrast two things. It is often used to explain choices or introduce an alternate event that happened or could happen in place of something else. Instead of can indicate that something was swapped out for something else.

If someone uses their left hand to write with instead of their right hand, for example, it means they chose to use their left hand rather than the right.

Used in a sentence: Tanya used peanut butter instead of chocolate in the recipe and the results were yummy!

Example: Instead of pepperoni, I like to put pineapple on my pizza.

Where does instead of come from?

The first records of instead of come from around 1200. The phrase combines the adverb instead, meaning “as a substitute” or “as an alternative,” and the word of.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for instead of?

What are some words that share a root or word element with instead of?

What are some words that often get used in discussing instead of?

How is instead of used in real life?

Instead of is a common phrase that explains that something happened in place of something else or something was chosen over other options.

Try using instead of!

Is instead of used correctly in the following sentence?

I need to wear a suit to the fancy party instead of the messy clothes I usually wear.

How to use instead of in a sentence

  • The latter now drags Tamino in, but instead of-49- the reward he expects, receives a sound flogging.