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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
be•tween /bɪˈtwin/USA pronunciation
prep. WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
- in the space separating:We traveled between New York and Chicago by railroad.
- intermediate to in time, quantity, or degree: I'll meet you sometime between twelve and one o'clock.
- linking; connecting;
to and from:The ship sails between Stockholm andCopenhagen.
- in equal portions for each of: The couple split the profits between them.
- among: a treaty between five countries.See Usage Note below.
- by (means of) the common participation of: Between us, we can finish the job.
- in the choice or contrast of:the difference between good and bad.
- by the combined effect of:They were both married before, so they have seven children between them.
- existing as a secret with: We'll keep this between ourselves (= This will be a secret with you and me). Between you and me, I think he's a fool.
- involving; concerning: war between nations.
- in the way of;
blocking:Something came between us, and we didn't care for each other anymore.
- in the intervening space or time: two windows with a door between.
be•tween•ness,n. [uncountable]a feeling of betweenness, of not being completely here in America or there in Hong Kong.
By strict or traditional usage rules, among expresses relationship when more than two are involved, and between is used for only two: to decide among coffee, tea, juice, or milk;
- few and far between, rare;
infrequent:The visits became few and far between as we grew apart.
- Idioms in between, in an intermediate position :Our house is in between a playground and an alley.
to decide between tea and coffee. between, however, continues to be used to express relationship of persons or things considered individually, no matter how many: Between holding public office, teaching, and raising a family, she has little free time. And between is always used to express location or position in the middle of any number of things that are limits or boundaries around the point: This city is located at a point between New York, Chicago, and Pittsburgh. Although not usually accepted as good usage, between you and I is heard occasionally in the speech of educated persons. By the strict rules of grammar, any and all pronouns that are the object of a preposition must be in the objective case: between you and me;
between her and them.
(bi twēn′), prep.
- in the space separating (two points, objects, etc.):between New York and Chicago.
- intermediate to, in time, quantity, or degree:between twelve and one o'clock; between 50 and 60 apples;
between pink and red.
connecting:air service between cities.
- in portions for each of (two people):splitting the profits between them.
- among:sharing the responsibilities between the five of us.
- by the dual or common action or participation of:Between us, we can finish the job in a couple of hours.
- distinguishing one from the other:He couldn't see the difference between good and bad.
- in comparing:no preference between the two wines.
- by the combined effect of.
- existing confidentially for:We'll keep this matter between the two of us.
- involving; concerning:war between nations;
choice between things.
- being felt jointly or reciprocated by:the love between them.
- by joint possession of:Between them they own most of this company.
- Heraldry[Heraldry.]in the midst of, so as to make a symmetrical composition:a cross argent between four bezants.
- Idiomsbetween ourselves, confidentially; in trust. Also,between you and me, between you, me, and the post (lamppost, gatepost, etc.).
- ClothingUsually,betweens. a short needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for fine hand stitchery in heavy fabric.
- in the intervening space or time;
in an intermediate position or relation:two windows with a door between;
visits that were far between.
- situated in an intermediary area or on a line or imaginary line connecting two points, things, etc.
- in the way:I reached for the ball, but the dog got in between.
Among expresses a relationship when more than two persons or things are involved:Distrust spread among even his strongest supporters.Between is used when only two persons or things are involved:between you and me; to decide between tea and coffee.Between also continues to be used, as it has been throughout its entire history, to express a relationship of persons or things considered individually, no matter how many:Tossing up coins between three people always takes a little working out. Between holding public office, teaching, and writing, she has little free time.Although not generally accepted as good usage, between you and I is heard occasionally in the speech of educated persons. By the traditional rules of grammar, when a pronoun is the object of a preposition, that pronoun should be in the objective case:between you and me; between her and them.The use of the nominative form (I, he, she, they, etc.) arises partly as overcorrection, the reasoning being that if it is correct at the end of a sentence like It is I, it must also be correct at the end of the phrase between you and … . The choice of pronoun also owes something to the tendency for the final pronoun in a compound object to be in the nominative case after a verb:It was kind of you to invite my wife and I.This too is not generally regarded as good usage.The construction between each (or every) is sometimes objected to on the grounds that between calls for a plural or compound object. However, the construction is old and fully standard when the sense indicates that more than one thing is meant:Spread softened butter between each layer of pastry.There were marigolds peeking between every row of vegetables. The construction between … to is a blend of between … and (between 15 and 25 miles) and from … to (from 15 to 25 miles). It occurs occasionally in informal speech but not in formal speech or writing.
- Middle English betwene, Old English betwēonan, betwēonum, equivalent. to be- be- + twēon- (cognate with Gothic tweihn(ai) two each) + -um dative plural ending bef. 900
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
between /bɪˈtwiːn/ prep
- at a point or in a region intermediate to two other points in space, times, degrees, etc
- in combination; together: between them, they saved enough money to buy a car
- confined or restricted to: between you and me
- indicating a reciprocal relation or comparison
- indicating two or more alternatives
Also: in between
Etymology: Old English betwēonum; related to Gothic tweihnai two together; see two, twainUSAGE
- between one specified thing and another
After distribute and words with a similar meaning, among should be used rather than between: this enterprise issued shares which were distributed among its workers
'between' also found in these entries: