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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Abe has reportedly sought to play a mediator role in increasing tensions between the U.S., North Korea and Iran. Washington Post, "Trump to Face Off With Japan’s Abe on Trade After Golf and Sumo," 18 Sep. 2019 Tensions between the two governments worsened in 2016 after the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Taiwan accuses China of trying to sway elections after losing yet another ally," 17 Sep. 2019 But the Saudis did not directly accuse Iran of launching the strikes and refrained from calling for retaliation amid escalating tensions between Iran and the United States, which have raised fears of a wider armed conflict. BostonGlobe.com, "Saudi Arabia said Monday that Iranian weapons had been used in the aerial strikes over the weekend that interrupted much of the kingdom’s oil production. It also said the attacks had not been launched from Yemen, home of the Houthi rebel faction that has claimed responsibility.," 17 Sep. 2019 The key difference between the two, who were widely believed to be at a similar level during their time in the City academy, is that Sancho is a global superstar and Foden is just a hot prospect. SI.com, "Jadon Sancho's 50 Bundesliga Appearances Should Send a Message to Phil Foden," 17 Sep. 2019 New findings contradict the theory that the life-span divergence between educated and uneducated Americans is due to despair. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's magazine, "Findings," 16 Sep. 2019 Here's a breakdown of what's reportedly going on between Lovato and Johnson. Glamour, "Demi Lovato and Mike Johnson’s Relationship: A Complete Timeline," 16 Sep. 2019 Israel's leader felt abandoned by Obama's stewardship of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which Israel strongly opposed. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "It's Israel's election but here's why Donald Trump is the 'King of Israel'," 16 Sep. 2019 Instead, Monday marks day two of a courtroom battle between lake property owners and the GBRA. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "No ‘Big Drain’ yet for the Guadalupe River lakes," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb There’s a push and pull between unspoken societal norms (in this case, the understanding that littering is wrong), and how people actually act. Sarah Meehan, baltimoresun.com, "You asked: Why is there so much litter in Baltimore? We dug into the city's trash problem.," 18 June 2019 And now, their appearances together will be few and far between, as Jack is headed to college on the show and Tony is actually doing the same in real life. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "These 'Blue Bloods' Stars Are Actually Related in Real Life," 4 Jan. 2019 In this view, there is no difference in kind between, say, the right to free speech and the right to collect a Social Security check. James Taranto, WSJ, "What Went Wrong With Human Rights," 17 Aug. 2018 This week, in the first round of competition, the glow-in-the-dark Siberian dance troupe illuminated the stage with its unique visual depiction of the push and pull between good and evil in the modern age. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "EXCLUSIVE: 'America's Got Talent' Udi Dance Group Wows Again This Week," 30 July 2018 Unfortunately, those rides are set to become fewer and farther between, as Uber seeks to perfect rider-driver matching in its latest product, Express Pool. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "With Express Pool, Uber Offers an Even Cheaper Ride Option," 21 Feb. 2018 The exhibits reflect a kind of push-and-pull between playful immersion and more traditional instruction. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "An Everyman Museum to Celebrate American Writers," 8 May 2017

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for between

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for between

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Between.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/between. Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for between

between

preposition
How to pronounce between (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of between

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in the space that separates (two things or people)
: in the time that separates (two actions, events, etc.)
used to indicate the beginning and ending points of a group of numbers, a range of measurement, etc. sometimes used in the phrase in between

between

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of between (Entry 2 of 2)

: in the space separating two things or people

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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More from Merriam-Webster on between

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with between

Spanish Central: Translation of between

Nglish: Translation of between for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of between for Arabic Speakers

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