between

preposition
be·​tween | \ bi-ˈtwēn How to pronounce between (audio) , bē- \

Definition of between

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : by the common action of : jointly engaging shared the work between the two of them talks between the threeTime
b : in common to : shared by divided between his four grandchildren
2a : in the time, space, or interval that separates the alley between the butcher shop and the pharmacy should arrive between 9 and 10 o'clock
b : in intermediate relation to weighs somewhere between a pound and a pound and a half
3a : from one to another of air service between Miami and Chicago
b : serving to connect or unite in a relationship (such as difference, likeness, or proportion) a one-to-one correspondence between sets mutual understanding between them
c : setting apart the line between fact and fancy
4a : in preference for one or the other of had no difficulty deciding between the two
b : in point of comparison of little difference between the two cars
5 : in confidence restricted to a secret between you and me
6 : taking together the combined effect of between work and family life, they have no time for hobbies

between

adverb

Definition of between (Entry 2 of 2)

: in an intermediate space or interval two beds with a nightstand between

Between vs. Among: Usage Guide

Preposition

There is a persistent but unfounded notion that between can be used only of two items and that among must be used for more than two. Between has been used of more than two since Old English; it is especially appropriate to denote a one-to-one relationship, regardless of the number of items. It can be used when the number is unspecified economic cooperation between nations , when more than two are enumerated between you and me and the lamppost partitioned between Austria, Prussia, and Russia — Nathaniel Benchley , and even when only one item is mentioned (but repetition is implied). pausing between every sentence to rap the floor — George Eliot Among is more appropriate where the emphasis is on distribution rather than individual relationships. discontent among the peasants When among is automatically chosen for more than two, English idiom may be strained. a worthy book that nevertheless falls among many stools — John Simon the author alternates among mod slang, clichés and quotes from literary giants — A. H. Johnston

Examples of between in a Sentence

Preposition The ball rolled between the desk and the wall. He stood between his mother and his father. The office has two desks with a table between them. They put up a fence between their house and their neighbor's house. There are fences between all the houses. If you want to lose weight, you shouldn't eat between meals. Between bites of food, they talked to their teacher. The two days between Monday and Thursday are Tuesday and Wednesday. We should arrive between 9 and 10 o'clock. Adverb The office has two desks with a table between. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition But by admitting that crypto assets aren't secure in the event of a bankruptcy, Coinbase is also highlighting a major difference between storing your funds with blockchain exchanges, versus keeping cash with traditional banks. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 11 May 2022 What's the difference between the Willow Go and the Gen 3? Jamie Spain, Good Housekeeping, 10 May 2022 Smashburger fan and San Antonio chef James Canter, owner of Guerrilla Gourmet, says the biggest difference between these and modern burgers is the texture. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, 10 May 2022 There is a big difference between being influenced by other artists and trying to sound like other artists. Spin Staff, SPIN, 10 May 2022 Old Spice can be the difference between natural man-stench and smelling manly. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 10 May 2022 Conversely, the net difference between favorable and unfavorable views of Oz is negative by 1 point. Fox News, 10 May 2022 If there’s a difference between what Ryan Mountcastle showed at the beginning of the season to now, the obvious distinction is in the results. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 9 May 2022 Specialized cells within the eel’s electric organ pump ions across a semipermeable membrane barrier to produce an electrical charge difference between the inside versus the outside of the membrane. Timothy J. Jorgensen, The Conversation, 9 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Passing opportunities are few and far between, even in a race where a two- or three-stop strategy makes sense and a track where tire degradation is normally so high. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Apr. 2022 As Luis, Delgado, a Mexican American, got to play an ordinary, non-stereotypical Latino character at a time when such depictions were few and far between on TV, for adults or children. CBS News, 10 Mar. 2022 Saturday and Sunday fall into a similar but slightly warmer pattern than Thursday and Friday, with highs climbing into the upper 70s and windy weather making clouds few and far between in the area. Dan Carson, Chron, 4 Apr. 2022 Sites that are close to downtown and large enough to house the future jail are few and far between, and Cleveland’s industrial past means many of those locations would likely require clean-up. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 1 Apr. 2022 Short-handed or not, moments of adversity were, to be honest, few and far between in the Jazz’s eventual 108-93 victory over the Knicks. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Mar. 2022 As Luis, Delgado, a Mexican American, got to play an ordinary, non-stereotypical Latino character at a time when such depictions were few and far between on TV, for adults or children. CBS News, 10 Mar. 2022 While Hancock may have grown up eating Denver omelets all over town, Denverites who favor the omelet as their go-to breakfast dish are few and far between, according to Miller. Magdalena O'neal, Sunset Magazine, 4 Mar. 2022 As Luis, Delgado, a Mexican American, got to play an ordinary, non-stereotypical Latino character at a time when such depictions were few and far between on TV, for adults or children. The Enquirer, 11 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'between.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of between

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for between

Preposition and Adverb

Middle English betwene, preposition & adverb, from Old English betwēonum, from be- + -twēonum (dative plural) (akin to Goth tweihnai two each); akin to Old English twā two

Learn More About between

Time Traveler for between

Time Traveler

The first known use of between was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near between

betwattled

between

between decks

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Statistics for between

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Between.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/between. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for between

between

preposition
be·​tween | \ bi-ˈtwēn How to pronounce between (audio) \

Kids Definition of between

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in the time or space that separates between nine and ten o'clock between the two desks
2 : functioning to separate or tell apart What are the differences between soccer and football?
3 : by the efforts of each of Between us we can get the job done.
4 : by comparing You must choose between two things.
5 : shared by There's a strong bond between parent and child.
6 : in shares to each of She divided the money between the two children.
7 : to and from He travels between New York and Chicago every week.

between

adverb

Kids Definition of between (Entry 2 of 2)

: in a position between others The room has two desks with a table between.

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