in lieu of


in lieu of


  • place of, in place of, or instead of.
  • someone acting in the place of another.
  • substitute or replacement.
  • one thing done or provided instead of another.

Example Sentences

  1. The employee received a cash payment in lieu of vacation days she was unable to take.
  2. We made a donation to charity in lieu of sending gifts for the wedding.
  3. Students can write an extra-credit essay in lieu of taking the final exam.
  4. The company provided compensation in lieu of the signed contract being fulfilled.
  5. Coffee and pastries were served in lieu of lunch during the half-day meeting.
  6. Cash refunds are not offered; store credit will be issued in lieu of a return.
  7. The substitute teacher gave an assignment in lieu of holding a normal class.


The phrase “in lieu of” originated from the French phrase “lieu de,” which literally translates to “place of.” In the 15th century, the phrase entered the English language from Old French. The French phrase “lieu de” refers to a person acting in place of someone else. This developed into the meaning of “in place of” or “instead of.”

During this time, the phrase was used to describe one thing being done or provided as a substitute for something else. For instance, a payment may have been given “in lieu of” a gift, meaning the payment was received instead of the gift. Gradually, over the years, the phrase evolved into its current form of “in lieu of.”

When the phrase initially entered the English language from French, “in lieu of” mainly referred to one person acting in the place of another. This sense of meaning—someone acting as a substitute or replacement for another—remained as the phrase evolved. However, the usage expanded to apply not just to people but also to things.

The phrase came to be used when referring to one thing serving as a substitute or replacement for another. So instead of just referring to someone acting “in lieu of” another, the phrase applies when something is done or provided “in lieu of” something else. This broader meaning of one thing replacing another is how we use “in lieu of” in English today.

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