Pronunciation: (in-sted'), [key]
1. as a substitute or replacement; in the place or stead of someone or something: We ordered tea but were served coffee instead.
2. in preference; as a preferred or accepted alternative: The city has its pleasures, but she wished instead for the quiet of country life.
3. instead of, in place of; in lieu of: You can use milk instead of cream in this recipe.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.