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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
in /ɪn/USA pronunciationprep.
This word is used before a noun that refers to space, a place, or to something that puts limits on something else, to show that the following noun includes something within it, contains something within it, or surrounds something:They were walking in the park (= The park limits where they were walking, and surrounds them or contains them). The horses were galloping in the field. She was still in bed when I came home. The doll is in the box; leave it there.
This word is used before a noun that is abstract, cannot be touched, or refers to an occupation, interest, quality, characteristic, etc. It is used to show that the following noun includes or contains someone or something:He was an important character in the play (= The play includes this character). She worked in politics. In the last section of the book we list irregular verbs. There was a lot of evil in his personality.
This word is used to show motion or direction from outside to a point within, and to mean "into'':Let's go in the house. Put the doll in the box.
This word is used before a noun that refers to a period of time, to show that something happens during that time, or occurs within a period or limit of that time:in ancient times (= something happened during ancient times). We did the task in only ten minutes. I love Paris in the autumn. We will be there in an hour. She is an actress in her twenties.
This word is used with a following noun to show that the action, situation, condition, or manner of action is limited or described by that noun:to speak in a whisper. They are similar in appearance. He was dressed in a kilt; she was in her pajamas. We were not afraid to meet in public. Smith shook his head in amazement.
This word is used with a noun to show that the action described is accomplished with the use of, or by means of, that noun:speaking in French; written in ink.
This word is used with a noun, or a present participle form of a verb, to show what will result from some other action:In showing his emotions so clearly, he risked losing his advantage.
This word is used to indicate a change from one state to another:to break in half.
This word is used with a noun to indicate the aim or purpose of something:speaking in honor of the event.
This word is used with a noun that describes the color of something:The walls were in yellow.
in or into some place, position, state, relation, etc.:Please come in. Have your papers handed in by Tuesday.
having arrived:Her plane isn't in yet.
in one's house or office:I wasn't in all day; I had to go to court.
in office or power:That party has been voted in, but it may soon be voted out.
in possession or occupancy:The doctor is in.
on good terms; in favor:She got in good with her boss.
in season:Watermelons will soon be in.
inner; internal:the in part of a mechanism.
in style:It was the in place to dine. Wild, colorful hats are definitely in this year.
[before a noun] included in a favored group:She was never part of the in crowd.
Governmentbeing in power:the in party during the crisis.
GovernmentUsually,the ins. persons who are in power:The ins will continue to dominate.
pull or influence:He's got an in with the senator.
- [before a noun] understood only by a special group:an in joke.
The most basic meaning of this word is that of general limits or boundaries put on places and actions. In referring to place and to time, in is the preposition that is more general and less specific in its meaning than at and on. Thus, we havein Russia; in the autumn,both of which are more general thanon Avenue C, on the twelfth of June and at 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue; at eight o'clock.See the note under at.
an abbreviation of:
- Idiomsin for, certain to undergo (a disagreeable experience):It looks as if we're in for stormy weather. The economy is in for another tough six months.
- Idioms, Slang Termsin for it, [Slang.]about to suffer punishment or unpleasant consequences:We're in for it now, unless we can escape through the back before they catch us.
- have it in for, [~ + object] to cause difficulty for; to make trouble for:That teacher seems to have it in for him;
she's always picking on him.
- Idiomsin that, because;
inasmuch as:I expected a better price from that store in that I'd bought all my other computer equipment from them previously.
- the ins and outs of, all the details or parts of:a book on the ins and outs of photography.
in- is attached to verbs and nouns and means "in;
on:''in- + come → income (= money coming in); in- + corporate (= body) → incorporate (= make into one body);
in- + land → inland (= in the land).
in- is attached to adjectives and means "not:''in- + accurate → inaccurate (= not accurate); in- + capable → incapable (= not capable);
in- + direct → indirect (= not direct).For variants before other sounds, see im-, il-, ir-.
-in is attached to some verbs to form nouns that refer to organized protests through, using, or in support of the named activity:sit + -in → sit-in (= a protest in which participants sit and block passage).
an abbreviation of:
Weights and Measuresinch.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
in /ɪn/ prep
- inside; within: no smoking in the auditorium
- at a place where there is: lying in the shade, walking in the rain
- indicating a state, situation, or condition: in a deep sleep, standing in silence
- before or when (a period of time) has elapsed: come back in one year
- using (a language, etc) as a means of communication: written in code
- concerned or involved with, esp as an occupation: in journalism
- expressing a ratio, proportion, or probability: one in five boys
- while or by performing the action of; as a consequence of or by means of: in crossing the street he was run over
- used to indicate goal or purpose: in honour of the president
- (used of certain animals) about to give birth to; pregnant with (specified offspring): in foal, in calf
- a variant of into: she fell in the water, he tore the paper in two
- have it in one ⇒ (often followed by an infinitive) to have the ability (to do something)
- in that, in so far as ⇒ (conjunction) because or to the extent that; inasmuch as: I regret my remark in that it upset you
- nothing in it ⇒ no difference or interval between two things
- in or into a particular place; inward or indoors: come in, bring him in
- so as to achieve office, power, or authority: the Conservatives got in at the last election
- so as to enclose: block in, cover in a hole
- (in certain games) so as to take one's turn or one's team's turn at a certain aspect of the play; taking one's innings: you have to get the other side out before you go in
- Brit (of a fire) alight
- (in combination) indicating an activity or gathering, esp one organized to protest against something: teach-in, work-in
- in at ⇒ present at (the beginning, end, etc)
- in for ⇒ about to be affected by (something, esp something unpleasant): you're in for a shock
- in on ⇒ acquainted with or sharing in: I was in on all his plans
- in with ⇒ associated with; friendly with; regarded highly by
- have it in for, have got it in for ⇒ informal to wish or intend harm towards
- (stressed) fashionable; modish: the in thing to do
- NZ competing: you've got to be in to win
Etymology: Old English; compare Old High German in, Welsh yn, Old Norse ī, Latin in, Greek en
- ins and outs ⇒ intricacies or complications; details: the ins and outs of a computer system
In the chemical symbol for