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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The boys, all between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time of their arrests, were vilified by the press. Candice Benbow, Glamour, "When They See Us Finds Redemption for the Central Park Five—And for Their Mothers," 30 May 2019 The point is, the correlation between high dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of health conditions does not necessarily equal causation with the intake of fiber itself. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "How Much Fiber Should I Be Eating to Feel Regular?," 30 May 2019 This planet thins the veil between worlds, and like Neptune, Cancer is also dreamy and empathetic. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What June's Aries Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 May 2019 The spread between the yield on 10-year Italian government bonds and comparable German debt, which is often taken as the risk-free benchmark, reached Tuesday the highest level since early February at 2.87 percentage points. Giovanni Legorano, WSJ, "Investors Grow Jittery Over Italy," 28 May 2019 Although both CPUs pack four-cores with symmetrical multi-threading (AMD’s version Hyper-Threading), the key change between the two is the higher wattage. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Acer's latest laptops go all-AMD with Ryzen and Radeon inside," 23 May 2019 But to add drama, a deep-colored high-gloss is hard to beat because there is more contrast between the dark color of the surface and the areas where light is reflected. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About High-Gloss Paint," 22 May 2019 The decisions are, in part, the result of an escalating trade war between the US and China. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The US government’s ongoing battle with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, explained," 17 May 2019 Some studies have found that there’s virtually no difference between people who regularly practiced intermittent fasting and those who simply cut back their calorie intake overall. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "What You Should Know About the 16:8 Diet Before You Start Fasting," 3 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about between

Statistics for between

Last Updated

3 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for between

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for between

between

preposition

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on between

What made you want to look up between? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a tendency to relapse

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!