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 Addison's encouragement gives Meredith the confidence to finally tell Richard her plans to split her time between Seattle and Minnesota. Ashley Boucher,, 14 Oct. 2021 How has the relationship between the two evolved over the years? SHAVONE. Essence, 14 Oct. 2021 Her musical resume includes a number of side-quests, all concerned with exploring the relationship between sound and narrative. Keegan Brady, Rolling Stone, 14 Oct. 2021 Karoly’s experience in law enforcement could also help build the relationship between the police department and the oversight board, although the police union has been critical of the authority ever since it was created., 14 Oct. 2021 Dell said a good relationship between park staff and people who regularly fish the pier is one reason things went so smoothly this time. al, 14 Oct. 2021 Studies have found a relationship between low bacterial diversity and Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome and colorectal cancer, among other conditions. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, 14 Oct. 2021 Organizations have had to embrace new ways of working, including more flexible work dynamics that bridge the gap between work and life. Cecile Alper-leroux, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 These kinds of interventions are at the center of Authority Collective’s mission, and expose the vexed relationship between collectives and institutional structures of power. New York Times, 13 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The challenge for BlueStacks will be adding support for the most popular mobile games, which are currently few and far between on the beta. Barry Collins, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 And in Portland, Ore., preschool spots are few and far between, and elementary schools are running after-school care at limited capacity or have canceled programs altogether. New York Times, 21 Sep. 2021 Good goal-scoring chances were few and far between in the first half for either side. Caitlin Murray, oregonlive, 10 Sep. 2021 Trump signs are few and far between, even in the most rural reaches of the Southwestern Pennsylvania district. Dan Merica, CNN, 5 Sep. 2021 Mexican wines remain few and far between in the United States, so Tahona Mercado’s selection is noteworthy. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2021 Contracts that big are few and far between in the military vehicle market; in a typical year the Army spends only a fraction of that amount on procuring all wheeled and tracked combat vehicles. Loren Thompson, Forbes, 30 Aug. 2021 When suicide and overdose rates are rising, and innovative treatments for mental illness are few and far between, the harm caused by psychedelics prohibition is incalculable. Mason Marks, STAT, 26 Aug. 2021 Hader, who has converted 24 of 25 saves, had a break coming out of the all-star break when save appearances were few and far between, and another hiatus when he was quarantined for 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 18 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries Near between



between decks

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Statistics for between

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Between.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Oct. 2021.

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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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