When you make an inroad, you advance into new territory. An attacking army might try to make an inroad into a neighboring country, for example.

Intruding in another's space or advancing into a previously inaccessible area are both examples of inroads. The word is most often used in its plural form, like when your history teacher talks about the great inroads women have made politically in the past fifty years. The noun inroad was originally used only to talk about military movement, describing armies making hostile raids. The road part of inroad evolved from the word ride, so the word comes from "riding in."

Definitions of inroad
  1. noun
    an encroachment or intrusion
    “they made inroads in the United States market”
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    type of:
    encroachment, intrusion, trespass, usurpation, violation
    entry to another's property without right or permission
  2. noun
    an invasion or hostile attack
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    type of:
    the act of invading; the act of an army that invades for conquest or plunder
  3. noun
    (usually plural) progress or advancement, as toward a goal
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    type of:
    advancement, progress
    gradual improvement or growth or development
Word Family