adverb or preposition

be·​twixt bi-ˈtwikst How to pronounce betwixt (audio)
: between
betwixt the eyes

Did you know?

"Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean; and so betwixt the two of them, they licked the platter clean." Perhaps you've always said "and so between the two of them" when reciting the tale of Jack Sprat and his wife. That's fine. Betwixt and between have similar origins: they both come from a combination of be- and related Old English roots. Both words appeared before the 12th century, but use of betwixt dropped off considerably toward the end of the 1600s. It survived in the phrase "betwixt and between" ("neither one thing nor the other"), which took on a life of its own in the 18th century. Nowadays, betwixt is uncommon, but it isn't archaic; it's simply used more consciously than between.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English betwux, from be- + -twux (akin to Goth tweihnai two each) — more at between

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of betwixt was before the 12th century


Dictionary Entries Near betwixt

Cite this Entry

“Betwixt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


adverb or preposition
be·​twixt bi-ˈtwikst How to pronounce betwixt (audio)

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