1 of 4


with·​in wi-ˈt͟hin How to pronounce within (audio) -ˈthin How to pronounce within (audio)
: in or into the interior : inside
: in one's inner thought, disposition, or character : inwardly
search within for a creative impulseKingman Brewster †1988


2 of 4


used as a function word to indicate enclosure or containment
used as a function word to indicate situation or circumstance in the limits or compass of: such as
: before the end of
gone within a week
: not beyond the quantity, degree, or limitations of
live within your income
: in or into the scope or sphere of
within the jurisdiction of the state
: in or into the range of
within reach
within sight
used as a function word to indicate a specified difference or margin
came within two points of a perfect mark
within a mile of the town
: to the inside of : into
sunk the sea within the earthWilliam Shakespeare


3 of 4


: an inner place or area
revolt from within


4 of 4


: being inside : enclosed
the within indictment

Examples of within in a Sentence

Adverb We could hear sounds coming from within. The sign on the door says “Help Wanted: Inquire Within.” We all try to appear strong and attempt to hide the scared little child within. They were outwardly calm but nervous within. Preposition They live within the city limits. We could hear sounds coming from within his apartment. Reports from within the company indicate a change in policy. Most students find a job within a year of graduating. She made several friends within days of moving into her new apartment. He entered the house, and within seconds, he was surrounded by children. Everything I need is within a few miles of my apartment. Noun structural decay had started from within
Recent Examples on the Web
Firefighters had to cut into the structure through layers of insulation and rubber to extinguish the fire that was smoldering within, Flood said. Stacy Ryburn, arkansasonline.com, 15 Apr. 2024 Last year saw the release of the first collaborative bottle, and while this year’s design looks very different the whiskey within is still classic Old No. 7. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for within 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'within.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English withinne, from Old English withinnan, from with + innan inwardly, within, from in

First Known Use


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


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near within

Cite this Entry

“Within.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/within. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adverb
with·​in wit͟h-ˈin How to pronounce within (audio) with- How to pronounce within (audio)
: in or into the interior : inside
: inside oneself : inwardly
look within for imaginative ideas


2 of 3 preposition
: in or into the inner part of
within the house
: not beyond the bounds or limits of
within sight


3 of 3 noun
: an inner place or area

More from Merriam-Webster on within

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