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1. A successful advance into or encroachment upon some new area. A: "How's the research going?" B: "We've made inroads, but there's still a long way to go until a treatment is ready."
2. A decrease or reduction, often caused by something unwelcome. I can't begin to tell you the inroads that this project has made on my time—I can't get anything else done!

make inroads (in/into something)

To successfully advance into or encroach upon some new area. A: "How's the research going?" B: "We've made inroads, but there's still a long way to go until a treatment is ready." Our product is finally starting to make inroads into the Chinese market. I was just starting to make inroads in the conversation with him when the party started winding down.
See also: inroad, make
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

make inroads into something

Fig. to succeed in getting something done or at least started. George was unable to make inroads into solving the problem. We are making no inroads into the high-priority project.
See also: inroad, make
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

make inroads into

Encroach on, advance at another's expense, as in The Japanese rapidly made inroads into the computer-chip market. The noun inroad originally meant "an invasion." [Late 1600s]
See also: inroad, make
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

make inroads in/into something

1 reduce the amount of something: Repairs to the house had made deep inroads into their savings.
2 advance successfully into a new area: Doctors are making great inroads in the fight against cancer.Their products are already making inroads in these new markets.
See also: inroad, make, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Inroads editorial board member argues that liberalism must separate nation and state just as it fought to separate church and state.
For more information about INROADS, its programs and how to become connected to the nonprofit, visit
He warned the government to realise that inroads in Pakistani markets by foreign brands through illegal channels would encourage them to increase this activity which is getting out of control, especially since no authority is even bothered to check the quality of imports as is done on our exports going to India, Sri Lanka and African countries.
" We are there in UP, MP or Rajasthan but these states along Coromandel are where we still have to make inroads. So we are doing it.
"I look forward to sharing this imperative message with Inroads so we can assist students, who are about to enter the market, learn the value of confidence."
But scene - in wh dress as glam making inroad This fascin frightenin meets the who spen styling th Barbie do This fascinating, and frightening, documentary meets the real-life mums who spend a fortune styling their children like Barbie dolls.
This also means we are beginning to make serious inroads into the amounts we need for such things as a new sound system and work to prevent the draughts." And he explained that the reason Old School was not sold to raise money was the depressed state of the property market making any sale a commercial nonsense.
Too small and technically too wobbly to make many commercial inroads, the film should nonetheless parlay its Locarno preem to further lest inroads.
| WASHINGTON, July 17 (KUNA) -- The United States said on Tuesday that the Syrian opposition is making inroads and noted that there are increasing defections in the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Although often viewed as dorm-room cuisine, ramen noodles, likely due to their inexpensiveness, convenience and tastiness, have been making major inroads as an easy meal (or meal component) for timestarved families with children at home.
Capuano said he is hoping his background leading Somerville, where he was mayor for nine years, will help him make inroads outside of Boston.
But Raleigh Quay (11-4) gradually made inroads before going on to score by half a length.
Summary: Jenson Button is fully expecting his rivals to make inroads into Brawn GP's early season advantage.
Thirdly, although it is common that Japanese companies make inroads into foreign markets, and foreign companies make inroads into Japanese markets, nationalism has become more intense in Japan.
* The Dial Corporation was awarded Company of the Year by Inroads at the organization's 19th annual awards banquet.