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Webster 1913 Edition


Between

Be-tween′

,
p
rep.
[OE.
bytwene
,
bitweonen
, AS.
betweónan
,
betweónum
; prefix
be-
by + a form fr. AS.
twā
two, akin to Goth.
tweihnai
two apiece. See
Twain
, and cf.
Atween
,
Betwixt
.]
1.
In the space which separates; betwixt;
as, New York is
between
Boston and Philadelphia
.
2.
Used in expressing motion from one body or place to another; from one to another of two.
If things should go so
between
them.
Bacon.
3.
Belonging in common to two; shared by both.
Castor and Pollux with only one soul
between
them.
Locke.
4.
Belonging to, or participated in by, two, and involving reciprocal action or affecting their mutual relation;
as, opposition
between
science and religion
.
An intestine struggle, open or secret,
between
authority and liberty.
Hume.
5.
With relation to two, as involved in an act or attribute of which another is the agent or subject;
as, to judge
between
or to choose
between
courses; to distinguish
between
you and me; to mediate
between
nations
.
6.
In intermediate relation to, in respect to time, quantity, or degree;
as,
between
nine and ten o’clock
.
Between decks
,
the space, or in the space, between the decks of a vessel.
Between ourselves
,
Between you and me
,
Between themselves
,
in confidence; with the understanding that the matter is not to be communicated to others.
I . . . hope that
between
public business, improving studies, and domestic pleasures, neither melancholy nor caprice will find any place for entrance.
Johnson.
Among implies a mass or collection of things or persons, and always supposes more than two; as, the prize money was equally divided among the ship's crew.

Be-tween′

,
Noun.
Intermediate time or space; interval.
[Poetic & R.]
Shak.

Webster 1828 Edition


Between

BETWEE'N

, prep.
1.
In the intermediate space, without regard to distance; as, New York is between Boston and Philadelphia; the Delaware river runs between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
2.
From one another; passing from one to another, noting exchange of actions or intercourse; as, things go well between the parties.
3.
Belonging to two or more, in common or partnership; as, two friends have but one soul between them; twenty proprietors own a tract of land between them. We observe that between is not restricted to two.
4.
Having mutual relation to two or more; as, discords exist between the families.
5.
Noting difference, or discrimination of one from another; as, to distinguish between right and wrong.

Definition 2022


between

between

English

Alternative forms

Preposition

between

  1. In the position or interval that separates (two things), or intermediate in quantity or degree. (See the Usage notes below.)
    John stood between Amy and Mary. Let's meet between two and three.
    I want to buy one that costs somewhere between forty and fifty dollars.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language, he expressed the important words by an initial, a medial, or a final consonant, and made scratches for all the words between; his clerks, however, understood him very well.
    • 2013 July-August, Henry Petroski, Geothermal Energy”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 4:
      Energy has seldom been found where we need it when we want it. Ancient nomads, wishing to ward off the evening chill and enjoy a meal around a campfire, had to collect wood and then spend time and effort coaxing the heat of friction out from between sticks to kindle a flame.
  2. Done together or reciprocally.
    conversation between friends
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 1, in Death on the Centre Court:
      She mixed furniture with the same fatal profligacy as she mixed drinks, and this outrageous contact between things which were intended by Nature to be kept poles apart gave her an inexpressible thrill.
  3. Shared in confidence.
    Between you and me, I think the boss is crazy. Let's keep this between ourselves.
  4. In transit from (one to the other, or connecting places).
    He's between jobs right now. The shuttle runs between the town and the airport.
  5. Combined (by effort or ownership).
    Between us all, we shall succeed. We've only got £5 between us.
    Between the leaky taps and the peeling wallpaper, there isn't much about this house to appeal to a buyer.
  6. One of (representing a choice).
    You must choose between him and me.
    Some colour-blind people can't distinguish between red and green.

Usage notes

  • Some groups of non-native speakers confuse between and among. It is sometimes said that between usually applies to two things, while among applies to more than two things. This is not correct; according to the Oxford English Dictionary (quoted at http://eebweb.arizona.edu/faculty/chesson/between_and_among.htm) "In all senses, between has been, from its earliest appearance, extended to more than two. In OE. and ME. it was so extended in sense 1, in which among is now considered better. It is still the only word available to express the relation of a thing to many surrounding things severally and individually, among expressing a relation to them collectively and vaguely: we should not say ‘the space lying among the three points,’ or ‘a treaty among three powers,’ or ‘the choice lies among the three candidates in the select list,’ or ‘to insert a needle among the closed petals of a flower".

Synonyms

Derived terms

  • Look at pages starting with between.

Translations

See also

Noun

between (plural betweens)

  1. A kind of needle, shorter than a sharp, with a small rounded eye, used for making fine stitches on heavy fabrics.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: another · right · each · #173: between · face · tell · because

Anagrams