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 In the case of Covid-19, that’s pretty much everybody on the planet, which means making somewhere between 7 and 15 billion doses. Megan Molteni, Wired, "Vaccine Makers Turn to Microchip Tech to Beat Glass Shortages," 26 June 2020 Trump’s approval ratings in these recent months have hovered between 39 and 49 percent. Mugambi Jouet, The New Republic, "The Trump Cult Is Loyal to an Ideology, Not the Man," 26 June 2020 In between are songs known from his days with The Stumpknockers and The Lost Cause Minstrels. al, "‘South Front Street:’ Music revisited, love reexamined," 25 June 2020 Efforts to fight the outbreak in eastern Congo were hampered by mistrust from community members, feuds between government officials, attacks on health care facilities, and the emergence of new hot spots. Abdi Latif Dahir,, "Congo’s deadliest Ebola outbreak is declared over," 25 June 2020 This new show splits the difference between those two influences, incorporating a huge cast of Batman characters into a kitchen-sink saga of ultraviolence, ultra-sexuality, and ultra-goofery. Darren Franich,, "Harley Quinn needs so many more seasons," 25 June 2020 And now, as the economy contracts for the first time in 40 years, the fiscal deficit (the difference between expenditure and revenues) is expected to widen in this financial year. Prathamesh Mulye, Quartz India, "Why India must borrow and spend wisely to counteract its Covid-19 slump," 25 June 2020 Action is the key difference between being not racist and being antiracist. Christina Capatides, CBS News, "The difference between being not racist and being antiracist," 25 June 2020 The difference between a 14% cut originally proposed and 10% is about $1 billion. James Salzer, ajc, "Georgia House, Senate agree to budget with $950 million in school cuts but no employee furloughs," 25 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb In the countryside, where hospitals are few and far between, the pressure has fallen onto general practitioners like Dr. Spihlmann. Mélanie Wenger, National Geographic, "When France locked down, this doctor became a lifeline for her rural community," 23 June 2020 However, according to some state election board officials, the instances of tampering are few and far between, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "‘The scandal of our times’ |Trump predicts 2020 election will be ‘rigged’ by foreign countries," 22 June 2020 Chances were few and far between in the second half as players still looked to be kicking off the rust after a long period away from the action. Ben Church, CNN, "Marcus Rashford takes a knee and raises his fist, but is denied the perfect ending to a momentous week," 19 June 2020 While details about the production are few and far between, according to IMDB, the cast is a big ensemble packed with talent. Southern Living, "Bridgerton Is a New Netflix Costume Drama Featuring Julie Andrews," 9 June 2020 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,, "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

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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Between.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for between


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



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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More from Merriam-Webster on between

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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