noun Also in-be·tween·er.

  1. a person or thing that is between two extremes, two contrasting conditions, etc.: yeses, noes, and in-betweens; a tournament for professional, amateur, and in-between.
  2. a person who handles the intermediary steps, as in a manufacturing or sales process.


  1. being between one thing, condition, etc., and another: a coat for in-between weather.


  1. in the space separating (two points, objects, etc.): between New York and Chicago.
  2. intermediate to, in time, quantity, or degree: between twelve and one o’clock; between 50 and 60 apples; between pink and red.
  3. linking; connecting: air service between cities.
  4. in portions for each of (two people): splitting the profits between them.
  5. among: sharing the responsibilities between the five of us.
  6. by the dual or common action or participation of: Between us, we can finish the job in a couple of hours.
  7. distinguishing one from the other: He couldn’t see the difference between good and bad.
  8. in comparing: no preference between the two wines.
  9. by the combined effect of.
  10. existing confidentially for: We’ll keep this matter between the two of us.
  11. involving; concerning: war between nations; choice between things.
  12. being felt jointly or reciprocated by: the love between them.
  13. by joint possession of: Between them they own most of this company.
  14. Heraldry. in the midst of, so as to make a symmetrical composition: a cross argent between four bezants.


  1. Usually betweens. a short needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for fine hand stitchery in heavy fabric.


  1. in the intervening space or time; in an intermediate position or relation: two windows with a door between; visits that were far between.
  1. between ourselves, confidentially; in trust.Also between you and me, between you, me, and the post/lamppost/gatepost/etc.
  2. in between,
    1. situated in an intermediary area or on a line or imaginary line connecting two points, things, etc.
    2. in the way: I reached for the ball, but the dog got in between.


  1. intermediatehe’s at the in-between stage, neither a child nor an adult


  1. an intermediate person or thing


  1. at a point or in a region intermediate to two other points in space, times, degrees, etc
  2. in combination; togetherbetween them, they saved enough money to buy a car
  3. confined or restricted tobetween you and me
  4. indicating a reciprocal relation or comparisonan argument between a man and his wife
  5. indicating two or more alternativesa choice between going now and staying all night

adverb Also: in between

  1. between one specified thing and anothertwo houses with a garage between

1815, in-between, “an interval,” also “a person who intervenes,” from in + between.


Old English betweonum “between, among, by turns,” Mercian betwinum, from bi- “by” (see be-) + tweonum dative plural of *tweon “two each” (cf. Gothic tweih-nai “two each”). Between a rock and a hard place is from 1940s, originally cowboy slang. Between-whiles is from 1670s.

In addition to the idioms beginning with between

  • between a rock and a hard place
  • between the lines
  • between you and me

also see:

  • betwixt and between
  • come between
  • draw a line between
  • fall between the cracks
  • few and far between
  • hit between the eyes
  • in between
  • in between times
  • read between the lines
  • tail between one’s legs
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