Definition of between in English:

between

(also bet.)

preposition

  • 1At, into, or across the space separating (two objects or regions)

    ‘the border between Mexico and the United States’
    ‘the dog crawled between us and lay down at our feet’
    ‘those who travel by train between London and Paris’
    • ‘I slept in a cramped space, hidden between boxes of goods, alongside other people.’
    • ‘Furthermore, higher speeds mean that the spaces between trains need to be greater for braking.’
    • ‘In fact, there is no space between the platforms for the buses to align as they are expected to.’
    • ‘When stopped in traffic, leave sufficient space between your car and the vehicle in front’
    • ‘The dining room is filled with big and small tables and only an elbow of space is left between the tables.’
    • ‘One of the key sites up for consideration is the space between the Town Hall and Laurence House.’
    • ‘Shakily I follow the same course, yanking myself into the space between two broad slabs.’
    • ‘He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.’
    • ‘Even then the director rode the bike between camera locations so I didn't tire!’
    • ‘Drop your jaw at the back, so that there is space between your back molars.’
    • ‘He said a villa in its real sense must be an independent house with much space between it and its neighbour.’
    • ‘It sits at street level between the two living spaces in the basement and on the first floor.’
    • ‘Police yesterday released a map showing the route the stolen car may have travelled between the two locations.’
    • ‘The proposal to use this space between the flats and the traffic would cause nothing but trouble.’
    • ‘I read of reports where people were slipping it beneath the slot, in the space between the slot and the box.’
    • ‘They used a parking space between the cottage and the river and began to unpack.’
    • ‘This works best if there is a space between your car and the next car down in the car park.’
    • ‘The houses were built close to each other with hardly any space between them.’
    • ‘Make sure that you only put in a single layer at a time and leave plenty of space between them.’
    • ‘Annual beds should be filled out by this time with little if any space between plants.’
    in the middle of, with one … on either side
    View synonyms
  • 2In the period separating (two points in time)

    ‘they snack between meals’
    ‘the long, cold nights between autumn and spring’
    • ‘Rose-pruning is also best done at this time of year, although it can be done any time between autumn and spring.’
    • ‘The period between the first and the second world wars was extremely tumultuous.’
    • ‘Do the same for the night-time hours by dividing the period between sunset and sunrise by 12.’
    • ‘Instead of sweets or biscuits, give cheese or fruits as snacks between meals.’
    • ‘We generally allow a slack period between completing the purchase and actually moving in.’
    • ‘The subject was asked to perform this test three times at an interval of five minutes between each.’
    • ‘They are designed to ensure that the aircrew obtain adequate sleep between duty periods.’
    • ‘It feels like we're on the very edge between summer and autumn even though the calendar says it's too early.’
    • ‘The vessel was built and fitted out over a period of seven months between February and August.’
    • ‘The interval between trying for a pregnancy and conception ranged from four to 24 months.’
    • ‘Expanding or improving your home is a good possibility between now and next autumn.’
    • ‘Since the middle of the night between Wednesday and Thursday I've been totally deaf in my left ear.’
    • ‘Germans never applaud between the movements of a sonata, or before the end of an act at the opera.’
    • ‘Try to ensure that most of the time the snacks and drinks between meals are healthy.’
    • ‘The child was being taught his letters in the intervals between customers.’
    • ‘It appears that eating three main meals a day and two to three snacks in between the main meals is the way to go.’
    • ‘Avoid sugary drinks and snacks between meals and especially at bedtime.’
    • ‘Bear hunting is permitted in Russia for a period in spring and between August and October.’
    • ‘There was not even a breathing space between the songs, as one flowed after the other.’
    • ‘Play will start at the allocated time each day, with a 15 minute interval between matches.’
  • 3In the interval separating (two points on a scale)

    ‘a man aged between 18 and 30’
    ‘between 25 and 40 percent off children's clothes’
    ‘the difference between income and expenditure’
    • ‘The girl was able to tell detectives the car driver was white and aged between 30 and 40.’
    • ‘One way to access higher interest rates is to tie up money in a fixed-rate account for between one and five years.’
    • ‘It has an incubation period of between two and 10 days and initial symptoms are similar to flu.’
    • ‘If you are aged between 11 and 18 and go to school in Sutton, you can stand for election.’
    • ‘The victims were aged between eight and nine, and one of them was very seriously injured.’
    • ‘The company leases equipment for a period of between three and five years to milk farms in return for raw milk.’
    • ‘Initial tests have shown she is of Asian or Oriental origin and is aged between 20 and 40.’
    • ‘Since then around 4,000 people have joined him on walks across the region of between one and four miles.’
    • ‘The children who attend the forty-two camps around America are aged between two and fourteen.’
    • ‘The local experience indicated that the incubation period is between two and 11 days.’
    • ‘They breed all year round, after a gestation period of between five to six months.’
    • ‘Its two universities are now creating between six and 10 company start-ups a year.’
    • ‘I've done it a few times, for periods varying between a week and several months.’
    • ‘Typically, you will be looking at a period of between five and ten years.’
    • ‘The council plans to care for eight children, aged between ten and 16, at the proposed new home.’
    • ‘The children, aged between four and seven, used recycled materials to make a Christmas scene.’
    • ‘She takes her three sons, aged between one and four, to school and pre-school.’
    • ‘The vast majority of people who visited the region did so for between one to three days.’
    • ‘The scheme is scheduled to last between three and six nights, depending on weather conditions.’
    • ‘Thirty two were imprisoned for periods of between seven days and two months.’
  • 4Indicating a connection or relationship involving two or more parties.

    ‘links between science and industry’
    ‘negotiations between the two companies are continuing’
    ‘the relationship between Pauline and Chris’
    • ‘There was for a period a constant dialogue between journals, groups, and individual creators.’
    • ‘There was a deal done between the trade union movement and the labour government back in 1988.’
    • ‘You will simply hand them a greater opportunity to create a bond between them.’
    • ‘Secret talks have been held between the two rival sides.’
    • ‘The bond between the trade union movement and the Labour Party is a century old and was forged at the latter's birth.’
    • ‘Mr Sunderland spoke particularly of the relationship between employer and employees in the old days.’
    • ‘They also noted excellent relationships between staff, pupils and parents.’
    • ‘Encouraging business between the region and the UK has been part of the prime minister's trip.’
    • ‘It also reveals the relationship between exploration, science and technology.’
    • ‘The organization has played a very useful role in establishing links between these parties.’
    • ‘It took five months of negotiations between the two parties to finalize the agreement.’
    • ‘The plans will just fragment healthcare and create further distance between patient and doctor.’
    • ‘He will be going into schools and creating partnerships between the schools and the club.’
    • ‘In this case there were no negotiations or discussions between the parties directly.’
    • ‘Negotiations will then start between the parties to see if they can work together.’
    • ‘The film focuses on a turbulent period in the collaboration between the two songwriters.’
    • ‘The relationship between art and politics has always been a vexed one.’
    • ‘The new deal was thrashed out during another lengthy meeting between the two sides in the city yesterday.’
    • ‘I see the massive bond that's created between people who are on a mission together.’
    • ‘It examines relationships between six men whose lives are linked by poker.’
    connecting, linking, joining
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1 With reference to a collision or conflict.
      ‘a collision in midair between two light aircraft above Geneva’
      ‘the wars between Carthage and Rome’
      • ‘It was responsible for the mid-air collision last month between a cargo plane and a Russian airliner.’
      • ‘Things nearly got out of hand in the minute leading up to the interval with angry exchanges between groups of players.’
      • ‘This includes a plan to introduce a mediation programme to deal with conflicts between staff.’
      • ‘But the truce has been severely strained by nightly fighting between the two sides.’
      • ‘He considered such policies would create division between the two communities.’
      • ‘A bank official in Dublin, he died in a collision between a car and a jeep not far from his home.’
      • ‘He is a good man and I do not blame him, but for a period there were problems between us.’
      • ‘One theory is that the moon was formed from debris left after a collision between the earth and another planet.’
      • ‘The inability to communicate is one of the sources of conflict between the characters.’
      • ‘The presenter tried to artificially create an argument between the two.’
      • ‘Videogames imply conflict, either between players, or a single player battling a computer.’
      • ‘Armed conflict between clans, often over access to water, breaks out sporadically.’
      • ‘The disagreements between scientists created apprehension among the public.’
      • ‘As Peter becomes more immersed in his dilemma, it creates a rift between him and the important people in his life.’
      • ‘Now what I want to do is to avoid creating problems between the two countries.’
      • ‘Adults are also discouraged from intervening in conflicts that arise between the children.’
      • ‘The judge said he hoped steps had been taken to avoid such a conflict between the two authorities arising in the future.’
      • ‘This weakens the unity of the university and creates tension between departments.’
      • ‘Four other people were injured in the collision between a Vauxhall Cavalier and Ford Fiesta.’
      • ‘To have created this rift between himself and his beloved daughter was almost more than he could bear.’
    2. 4.2 With reference to a choice or differentiation involving two or more things being considered together.
      ‘if you have to choose between two or three different options’
      • ‘Given a choice between two ways to make money, everyone chooses the way that makes us feel good.’
      • ‘Just one extra qualification or skill could make all the difference between getting an interview or not.’
      • ‘By turning inward the church has helped to create a greater distinction between secular and sacred.’
      • ‘In this account we distinguish between chemical and physical soil attributes.’
      • ‘If there is a choice between a new apartment and a more classic type of home, the latter will win out every time.’
      • ‘A distinction needs to be made between opinion polls and the unique category of exit polls.’
      • ‘You have to make a differentiation between what is sensational hype and what isn't.’
      • ‘One of the biggest differences between men and women is their respective needs.’
      • ‘The whole idea of elections is that there should be a choice between a number of candidates.’
      • ‘She is given a choice between her job and her boyfriend and she chooses her job without a second's hesitation.’
      • ‘Users will now be given the possibility of a choice between different suppliers at an earlier time.’
      • ‘The second course was a choice between a sorbet or soup of the day, which turned out to be pumpkin with stilton.’
      • ‘It is my contention that the difference between a monarchy and a republic would be symbolic only.’
      • ‘Girls have a choice between the traditional Guides or joining the Scouts.’
      • ‘If it comes to making a choice between paying off your credit card bill or paying your mortgage, pay the mortgage.’
      • ‘I've just realised I'm creating a distinction between mental and physical freedom here.’
      • ‘This will give consumers a choice between buying brand new cartridges or reusing old ones.’
      • ‘My children have grown up seeing no difference between gay and straight people.’
      • ‘It was a tough decision for the organizers of this meet to choose between these two great locations.’
      • ‘Many now face a stark choice between closure and raising fees to a level which may be beyond low-paid parents.’
  • 5By combining the resources or actions of (two or more people or other entities)

    ‘we have created something between us’
    ‘oxygen and nitrogen between them account for 99 per cent of air’
    • ‘Between them they have over 45 years of combined experience to offer their customers.’
    • ‘We had 34 dollars between us.’
    • ‘Neither side deserved a victory and they barely created a worthwhile chance between them.’
    • ‘Between them they had the technical knowledge required to see this client through the changes quickly and effectively.’
    • ‘We were lucky that between us we had a huge wealth of Internet knowledge to call on for assistance, which turned out to be invaluable.’
    1. 5.1 Shared by (two or more people or things)
      ‘they had drunk between them a bottle of Chianti’
      • ‘Two people shared the second prize and the third prize was shared between six people.’
      • ‘She stood as an Independent instead, splitting the vote between the two sides.’
      • ‘There are also plans to allow network sharing between licence holders.’
      • ‘The school's library currently has just a handful of books to share between 300 pupils.’
      • ‘The profit from the sale of the painting was to be shared equally between them.’
      • ‘The landlord may request an extra payment for large repairs, but this should be shared between all the tenants.’
      • ‘The money is designed to be shared out between all the staff at the schools, from headteacher to caretaker.’
      • ‘The health drive continued with dessert as we decided to share one between us.’
      • ‘The medals are generally shared between the Australians, Canadians and English.’
      • ‘The proposed new facilities would be shared between schools and the community.’
      • ‘The minibus will be shared between the two charities and is due to be handed over at the end of January 2005.’
      • ‘Vocal duties are shared between six female singers, who keep the emphasis on the soothing.’
      • ‘All profits were shared between the sports hall fund and a chosen sports charity.’
      • ‘We had ordered a case of beer to share between us.’
      • ‘The older couple next to me are reading a paper, sharing the sections between them.’
      • ‘An association of the families said the sum would be shared between 238 claimants.’
      • ‘A limited sum of money is available to fund the game at the elite end, and it is currently shared out between nine clubs.’
      • ‘The ability to share files between any two computers on the network was an explicit goal of the Internet, from day one.’
      • ‘Granddad and Uncle Gordon shared the driving between them, which wasn't too bad.’
      • ‘All profits that the farm collect are shared between all of the members equally.’

adverb

  • 1In or along the space separating two objects or regions.

    ‘layers of paper with tar in between’
    ‘from Leipzig to Dresden, with the gentle Elbe flowing between’
    • ‘The small space in between allowed a continuous flow of air to ventilate the rooms below.’
    • ‘The spaces in between are enclosed with glass, making two internal courtyards.’
    • ‘Shrubs could also be planted between, creating a pleasant outlook at minimal cost.’
    • ‘He wants to create four swimming pools within the existing boundary of the lake and fill in all the space in between.’
    • ‘They are separated by panels of chain fencing and the space between dotted with waste bins and park benches.’
    • ‘There were pieces everywhere and blank spaces in between.’
    • ‘We must not continue to develop and destroy what is left of the green space in between.’
  • 2In the period separating two points in time.

    ‘sets of exercises with no rest in between’
    • ‘That was also about the time the world became subject to the ice ages, with warm periods in between.’
    • ‘My own work has proceeded in fits and starts throughout the holiday, with long intervals of idleness in between.’
    • ‘In between, they create art installations, digital videos and vibrant collages.’
    • ‘While some of the songs are used in full, a few are played in between to create the mood.’
    • ‘Eating dimsum for all three meals and in between will make you very very fat.’
    • ‘They discussed the theme of the songs in the course of tuition classes and the intervals in between.’
    • ‘Clear separation of standards was achieved by running the plate three times, with a drying period in between.’
    • ‘She may find that her occasional chocolate binges wane if she eats regular meals with healthy snacks in between.’
    • ‘It is the years in between which account for the accent and body art.’

Usage

Between is used in speaking of two things, people, etc.: we must choose between two equally unattractive alternatives. Among is used for collective and undefined relations of usually three or more: agreement on landscaping was reached among all the neighbors. But where there are more than two parties involved, between may be used to express one-to-one relationships of pairs within the group or the sense 'shared by': there is close friendship between the members of the club; diplomatic relations between the US, Canada, and Mexico Between you and I, between you and he, etc., are incorrect; between should be followed only by the objective case: between you and me, between you and him, etc. See also personal pronoun

Phrases

  • between ourselves (or you and me)

    • In confidence.

      ‘just between you and me, I don't think it is going to happen’
      • ‘Between you and me, how much time does it take an ordinary citizen to meet an official?’
      • ‘Between you and me, there's something about the British that gets under my skin.’
      • ‘Just between you and me, I've got a bit of a thing for this hot chick.’
      • ‘Between you and me, I fear the same thing is going to happen in this new euro era.’
      • ‘Just between you and me, though, I'll bet he gets left in the dust.’
      • ‘Between you and me, he is a really top bloke.’
      • ‘So, just between you and me, didn't it help to spread a little cash around on both of these stories?’
      • ‘Frankly, between you and me, I'm getting a little worried about him.’
      between us, entre nous, in confidence, in strict confidence, confidentially, in private, privately, off the record
      View synonyms
  • between you, me, and the bedpost (or gatepost or wall)

    • informal In strict confidence.

      ‘between you, me, and the bedpost, I should never have given him the job’
      discreetly, privately, confidentially, secretly, unofficially, off the record, between ourselves, between you and me, between you and me and the bedpost, between you and me and the doorpost, between you and me and the gatepost, between you and me and the wall
      View synonyms
  • (in) between times (or whiles)

    • In the intervals between other actions.

      ‘I have seen to the needs of my child, and in between times I have cooked the meals’
      • ‘In between times he will be sharpening up his football coaching skills as a part-time Development Officer.’
      • ‘And, in between times, I took the camera out of its case and gave it a good work-out, just to be sure that it doesn't feel neglected.’
      • ‘They meet for dinner six times a year, rotating among each other's houses, and between times members often get together for sailing, theater, or concerts.’
      • ‘In between times, short of cash, he had voiced his own character in a series of five-minute TV cartoon films.’
      • ‘In between times I resume normal life, which is good.’
      • ‘The problem with this is it doesn't say much for what has happened in between times.’
      • ‘In between times I would phone Mary and tell her my latest news.’
      • ‘In between times, he has spent long hours preparing for his various TV appearances.’
      • ‘Our refuse is now only going to be collected every two weeks and between times we get a garden refuse collection and the existing recycle collection.’
      • ‘In between times we visited all the places of significance.’

Origin

Old English betwēonum, from be ‘by’ + a Germanic word related to two.

Pronunciation

between

/bəˈtwēn//bəˈtwin/