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



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


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 Economists note that the overall figure doesn’t account for major disparities in the jobless rate between White, Black, Hispanic and Asian workers. Washington Post, "Two blocks from the Federal Reserve, a growing encampment of the homeless haunts the economy’s most powerful person," 17 Apr. 2021 Paleoclimate data show little correlation between CO2 and climate, suggesting that the effects of CO2 are, in fact, marginal. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Climate and Central Banks: Regulators Doing What They Shouldn’t," 17 Apr. 2021 Local traffic will be allowed except for the area between Burkes and Shelby streets. Pine Bluff Commercial, Arkansas Online, "Calendar 4-17-21," 17 Apr. 2021 Quarterly earnings with gains/losses removed were as high as 70 cents per share in 2017 but have since dropped between the high teens and low 30s over the past year-plus. Brett Owens, Forbes, "Point And Stare At These 5 Ludicrous Double-Digit Yields," 17 Apr. 2021 The sabotage and Iran's response to it also have further inflamed tensions across the Mideast, where a shadow war between Tehran and Israel, the prime suspect in the sabotage, still rages., "Iran names suspect in Natanz attack, says he fled country," 17 Apr. 2021 As a result, automakers ping-pong between extremes. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2022 Kia Carnival has loads of space, SUV looks — and one oddball feature (review)," 17 Apr. 2021 Family unhappiness, as ever, is a wellspring of private pain, but the royal rift, including the painful schism between Harry and his elder brother, William, is also a public spectacle that has drawn worldwide attention. oregonlive, "Prince Philip’s funeral offers William, Harry chance to heal rift," 17 Apr. 2021 According to court records, the shooting followed an argument between Halfacre and the surviving woman over a stimulus check. Elizabeth Depompei, The Indianapolis Star, "FedEx mass shooting the deadliest in Indianapolis in at least 15 years," 17 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Big fintech acquisitions and IPOs had been few and far between, and the deal was seen as a big win for the industry. Jeff Kauflin, Forbes, "Plaid’s $13.4 Billion Valuation Makes Its Founders Fintech’s Newest Billionaires," 7 Apr. 2021 There was a big sale on Amazon last month that slashed the prices of all its most popular Fire TV devices, but that sale is long gone and Fire TV deals have been few and far between in March. Maren Estrada, BGR, "Hurry: Fire TV Stick 4K is on sale for the same price as the cheaper Fire TV Stick," 31 Mar. 2021 On the days between, there will be people there to help. Star Tribune, "Homeless outreach workers help the veterans who need more than our thanks," 16 Nov. 2020 And there's no real boundary between, what's your work side of the couch and what's your TV side of the couch? Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Covering the Campaign Trail When There Is No Trail," 2 Nov. 2020 Here, when the tide is right and swimmers are few and far between, the beach fishermen come out. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, "Gut Instincts: Phaidon’s New Food Books Take You To The Very Heart Of A Country," 18 Mar. 2021 Now such holidays are few and far between, largely replaced by National Whatever Days, invented by a marketing cabal to sell you more Whatever. Washington Post, "In Irish whiskey’s resurgence, individuality reigns. Here’s how to celebrate it in cocktails.," 12 Mar. 2021 Getting the chance to perform well on a large company initiative heightens a Black worker's chance at moving up the ranks, but those opportunities are few and far between, Williams said. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "It could take 100 years for Black employees to catch up in corporate America, study finds," 3 Mar. 2021 But just because blind beauty influencers like her are few and far between on platforms like YouTube doesn't mean there aren't a huge number of blind beauty shoppers. Marci Robin, Allure, "Molly Burke on the Best and Worst Beauty Packaging for Blind People," 27 Jan. 2021

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


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


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

20 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Between.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for between



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



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

: in the space separating two things or people


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.



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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Comments on between

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