Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of between
Meaning of between by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Middle English betwene, from Old English betwēonan, betwēonum ( “between, among, amid, in the midst, meanwhile”, dative plural:, literally “by the two, near both” ), from Proto-Germanic *bi- ( “be-” ), *twihnaz ( “two each” ), corresponding to be- +‎ twain. Cognate with Scots between ( “between” ), Scots atween ( “between” ), Gothic ���������������� ( tweihnai, “two each” ), Old English betweohs ( “between” ), Old English twinn ( “double, twofold” ). More at betwixt, twin .


    • ( UK ) IPA: /bɪˈtwiːn/, X-SAMPA: /bI"twi:n/
    • ( US ) IPA: /bɪˈtwin/, X-SAMPA: /bI"twin/
    • Hyphenation: be‧tween



    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 .
    2. Shared in confidence .
      Between you and me, I think the boss is crazy .
      Let's keep this between ourselves .
    3. 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 .
    4. 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 .
    5. One of ( representing a choice ) .
      You must choose between him and me .

    Usage notes


    • atween ( archaic )
    • atwix

    Derived terms

    See also


    • frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words before 1923: another · right · each · #173: between · face · tell · because


Explanation of between by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. in between

    2. two houses with a tree between
    3. in the interval

    4. dancing all the dances with little rest between

    Definition of between by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Between prep. [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.

      Syn. -- Between, Among. Between etymologically indicates only two; as, a quarrel between two men or two nations; to be between two fires, etc. It is however extended to more than two in expressing a certain relation.

      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.

    2. Between, n. Intermediate time or space; interval. [Poetic & R.] Shak.