Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition In or through the position or interval separating.
  • preposition Intermediate to, as in quantity, amount, or degree.
  • preposition Connecting spatially.
  • preposition Usage Problem Associating or uniting in a reciprocal action or relationship.
  • preposition In confidence restricted to.
  • preposition By the combined effort or effect of.
  • preposition In the combined ownership of.
  • preposition As measured against. Often used to express a reciprocal relationship.
  • adverb In an intermediate space, position, or time; in the interim.
  • idiom (in between) In an intermediate situation.
  • idiom (in between times) During an intervening period; in the meantime.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In the space which separates (two points, places, objects, or lines); at any point of the distance from one to the other of: as, between the eyes; between Washington and Philadelphia; the prisoner was placed between two policemen.
  • In intermediate relation to, as regards time, quantity, or degree: as, it occurred between his incoming and outgoing; a baronet is between a knight and a baron; they cost between $5 and $6 each; between 12 and 1 o'clock.
  • In the mutual relations of: as, discord exists between the two families.
  • From one to another of, as in the exchange of actions or intercourse.
  • In the joint interest or possession of: as, they own the property between them.
  • By the action, power, or effort of one or both of.
  • In regard to the respective natures or qualities of: as, to distinguish between right and wrong.
  • In regard to one or the other of: as, to choose between two things.
  • In the intermediate space; in intermediate relation as regards time, etc.: with an object understood.
  • noun One of a grade of needles between sharps and blunts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • preposition In the space which separates; betwixt.
  • preposition Used in expressing motion from one body or place to another; from one to another of two.
  • preposition Belonging in common to two; shared by both.
  • preposition Belonging to, or participated in by, two, and involving reciprocal action or affecting their mutual relation.
  • preposition With relation to two, as involved in an act or attribute of which another is the agent or subject.
  • preposition In intermediate relation to, in respect to time, quantity, or degree.
  • preposition the space, or in the space, between the decks of a vessel.
  • preposition in confidence; with the understanding that the matter is not to be communicated to others.
  • noun Poetic & R. Intermediate time or space; interval.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • preposition In the position or interval that separates (two things), or intermediate in quantity or degree. (See the Usage notes below.)
  • preposition Done together or reciprocally.
  • preposition Shared in confidence.
  • preposition In transit from (one to the other, or connecting places).
  • preposition Combined (by effort or ownership).
  • preposition One of (representing a choice).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb in between
  • adverb in the interval

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bitwene, from Old English betwēonum; see dwo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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 𐍄𐍅𐌴𐌹𐌷𐌽𐌰𐌹 (tweihnai, "two each"), Old English betweohs ("between"), Old English twinn ("double, twofold"). More at betwixt, twin.

Examples

  • It's just that there are a lot of us for whom the two are related in various ways, and a lot of those very people have been hugely influental in shaping *both* the slash community and the queer fannish community, so that there's a constant flow of ideas and dialogue between the two that can even obscure the fact that it's a conversation *between* rather than a conversation *among* or *within.

    big gay meta: slash communities and queer fan communities

  • Even the shiate themselves they have now war between major factions with regard who really represents the Shiate..between Al Hakeen and Al-Sader…If we begin to underdstand this we are closer to find a solution..but if just think it is just a religious war..we might not be able to solve the problem in Iraq….the closer we find a formula of power sharing..the faster the problems we have in Iraq will be solved…

    Think Progress » Everyone knows except Mitch McConnell.

  • It was all a trick to keep us running around in circles between Marmion and Wapaug, while Grady and his gang held up the train _between Marmion and Grove Junction!

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • It was all a trick to keep us running around in circles between Marmion and Wapaug, while Grady and his gang held up the train _between Marmion and Grove Junction!

    Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

  • Ulbricht responded by proposing a meeting between Kiesinger and Stoph and the negotiation of a treaty “between the two German states.

    1967

  • It will also be observed that the _element of chance will not be of importance as between the different parties, _ but only as _between different individual candidates of the same party_, since in almost all cases the electors who are agreed upon the candidate they most desire will also put for their second choice candidates of the same party.

    Proportional Representation A Study in Methods of Election

  • Each has its form, and the difference between them is the difference between_ deus ex machina _and_ deus machina est.

    Breaking Point

  • Southern slaveholder, did listen to a _compromise between right and wrong_ -- _between freedom and slavery_; of the ultimate fruits of which they had no conception, but which already even now is urging the

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Southern slaveholder, did listen to a _compromise between right and wrong_ -- _between freedom and slavery_; of the ultimate fruits of which they had no conception, but which already even now is urging the

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 4 of 4

  • Such a contrast as that of go 'between (“one who goes between”) and to go between' may be of quite secondary origin in English, but there is every reason to believe that analogous distinctions have prevailed at all times in linguistic history.

    Chapter 5. Form in Language: Grammatical Concepts

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