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in - definition and synonyms


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adjective, adverb, preposition in pronunciation in American English /ɪn/
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In can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): The children are in the back yard.They met in 1973.
as an adverb (without a following noun): Come in and sit down.
after the verb “to be”: “Is Philip in?” “No, he’s gone out.”
as an adjective: It was the in thing to do.
  1. 1
    used for showing where someone or something is
    1. a.
      inside a container, room, building, vehicle, etc.
      He had left his passport in his coat pocket.
      She’s downstairs in the living room.
      If convicted, Goldman faces 20 years in prison.
      There’s room for all of us in Dad’s car.
      Have you seen a bag with some tools in it?
    2. b.
      within an area, city, or country
      The books are printed in Hong Kong.
      the largest stadium in the world
      a picnic in the park
    3. c.
      at home, or at your office
      I asked to speak to the manager but he wasn’t in.
      Most evenings we stay in and watch television.
    4. d.
      within an object, space, or substance
      We noticed a crack in the wall.
      the bacteria in our drinking water
      in the air/in the sky/in space: There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
      It was the astronauts’ first experience living in space.
    5. e.
      at a specific part of something
      Further details can be found in Section 25.
      in the middle/center: a new department store in the center of the city
    6. f.
      held or enclosed by something
      What’s that you’ve got in your hand?
      They lay together in each other’s arms.
  2. 2
    into something
    1. a.
      moving into a place or a space
      The door was open so I just walked in.
      The water’s very deep – don’t fall in!
      The guards fired a few shots in the air.
    2. b.
      into your home, room, or place of work
      I invited her in for a drink.
    3. c.
      looking or pointing into something
      Look in the top drawer of my desk.
      The dog stood motionless with its tail sticking straight up in the air.
  3. 3
    arriving somewhere
    1. a.
      used for saying that a train, bus, airplane, or ship arrives somewhere
      What time does your flight get in?
      The train from Rochester was just pulling in.
      The ferry won’t be in for another hour.
    2. b.
      arriving at your home or place of work
      I’m going to be late, so don’t expect me in till after ten.
      What time did you get in last night?
  4. 4
    used for showing when something happens
    1. a.
      during a particular period, year, month, or season, or during a part of the day
      Mel Gibson was born in 1956.
      In the winter the lake freezes over.
      Let’s meet again in the morning, at around 9:30.
      The dance was popular in the 1920s.
    2. b.
      at the end of a period of time in the future
      The exams are in six weeks.
      Wait, I’ll be with you in a minute or two.
    3. c.
      within a period of time
      Unemployment has risen by over 15% in the past year.
      In the last few minutes we have received reports of an explosion on board an oil tanker.
      Ernie had suffered two heart attacks in the space of a week.
    4. d.
      used for saying how long it is since something last happened
      I haven’t laughed so much in years.
      It was the president’s first public appearance in three months.
    5. e.
      during the time that someone is involved in something, or is experiencing something
      Owen’s brother died in the war.
      I sometimes look back and think of all the things I’ve done in my life.
  5. 5
    used for talking about numbers and amounts
    1. a.
      used for saying how many units of money, weight, measurement, etc. make up a larger unit
      There are 2,000 pounds in a ton.
    2. b.
      used for saying how big groups of people or things are when they do something
      Lions often hunt in pairs.
      People began to arrive in twos and threes.
    3. c.
      used for saying how common something is by showing it as a number in relation to the total number
      One in twelve of the adult population suffers from stress.
    4. d.
      used for saying that a number is within a particular range, especially a temperature, a score, or someones age
      in the twenties/fifties/seventies etc.: a hot summer’s day with temperatures in the high 80s
      Most students scored in the seventies or eighties.
      Damage is estimated in the thousands of dollars.
      in your teens/twenties/thirties etc.: My daughter is in her mid-thirties now.
  6. 6
    used for saying areas of activity
    1. a.
      used for saying what organized activity someone does with other people
      Bailey was in the long-distance bicycle race.
      The whole city took part in the post-game celebrations.
    2. b.
      used for saying what type of work someone does
      She’s a teacher and her husband works in publishing.
    3. c.
      used for saying what area of work or activity you are talking about
      the crisis in farming
      There have been amazing advances in medical science.
    4. d.
      used for saying what subject someone studies
      a university degree in economics
  7. 7
    used for describing a particular state, situation, or relationship
    1. a.
      used for describing the state or condition of someone or something
      I’m sorry my room’s in such a mess.
      The army retreated in confusion.
      She wants to travel around the world while she’s still in good health.
    2. b.
      used for saying what the situation is for someone or something
      Kevin is in trouble again.
      Their lives were in danger.
    3. c.
      used for describing the relationship between people and organizations
      We wanted to get married because we were very much in love.
      Are we all in agreement?
      The United States will work in co-operation with its allies.
  8. 8
    used for saying what someone is wearing
    She looked so beautiful in her wedding dress.
    A man in a clown’s hat came and sat beside her.
  9. 9
    used for saying what things change, increase, improve, etc.
    There’s going to be a change in the weather.
    the recent rise in oil prices
  10. 10
    used for talking about the way something is done
    1. a.
      using a particular method or style
      We are trying to teach mathematics in a more interesting way.
      The houses are all built in the traditional style.
      You have to pay in cash.
    2. b.
      used for describing a particular type of behavior or way of speaking
      We all sat in silence.
      She called out to me in a loud voice.
      in tears (=crying): Some of the children were in tears.
    3. c.
      using a particular language
      in English/Spanish etc.: Go on, say something in French.
      There are instructions in eight languages.
  11. 11
    used for describing ways of writing, drawing, or painting
    1. a.
      used for stating what you use for writing, drawing, or painting
      There were artists painting in oils and watercolors.
      in ink/pencil/chalk/oils etc.: a short note written in pencil
    2. b.
      using a particular type or style of writing
      Write your name and address in capital letters.
  12. 12
    written or drawn where something is needed
    Fill in your name and address at the top of the form.
    I typed in my password and my e-mail address.
    The children were busy coloring in the maps they had drawn.
  13. 13
    used for saying what group someone or something is part of
    Kenny’s been in the Boy Scouts since he was eight.
    She has a number of Picasso’s paintings in her private collection.
  14. 14
    used for mentioning the book, movie, etc. where someone/something appears
    1. a.
      used for mentioning a movie or play where an actor appears
      Debbie Reynolds co-starred with Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain.
      Who’s in the new movie with Brad Pitt?
    2. b.
      used for mentioning a book, newspaper, etc. where you can read or see something
      I saw the house advertised in the local paper.
    3. c.
      used for mentioning a story, play, movie, etc. where a character or event appears or happens
      Mr. Micawber is one of the best-loved characters in English literature.
      The disaster is vividly recalled in James Cameron’s movie Titanic.
  15. 15
    used for saying what product, food, or drink contains a particular substance
    There is a lot of fat in cheese and butter.
    Do you take sugar in your coffee?
  16. 16
    used for saying what aspect of someone or something you are referring to
    The words are similar but there is a difference in meaning.
    She’s so selfish in her attitude toward other people.
  17. 17
    used for describing how things are arranged
    1. a.
      arranged in a way that forms a particular shape or pattern
      We all sat around in a circle.
      The trees are planted in straight rows.
    2. b.
      arranged according to a particular order
      The names are listed in alphabetical order.
  18. 18
    used for saying that something is available in a store
    Smoked salmon? We’ll have some in on Thursday.
  19. 19
    used for saying that something breaks or falls inward
    The roof caved in and buried all of them.
    They kicked the door in and charged through.
  20. 20
    affected by a particular type of weather
    Have you been waiting outside in the rain?
    Flags were fluttering in the breeze.
  21. 21
    used for saying what color decorations, clothes, etc. are
    The girls were all dressed in white.
    Are these curtains available in green?
  22. 22
    used for describing someones feelings when they do something
    She spoke more in disappointment than in anger.
    In my enthusiasm I completely forgot Dr. Ziegler’s warning.
  23. 23
    given or sent to someone or received by someone
    Homework must be handed in tomorrow morning.
    Have you sent in your application form?
    be in (=be received): Changes to the proposal must be in by April 15th.
  24. 24
    something that is in is fashionable
    Pale colors are definitely in this summer.
    the in thing (to do): We used to go to boring cocktail parties just because it was the in thing to do.
  25. 25
    used for saying the person or thing that has the qualities needed for a particular job or situation
    In Nelson Mandela the people had a leader that they could respect and admire.
  26. 27
    if a politician or a political party is in, they have been elected
    We hope things will get better now the Democrats are in.
    get in (=be elected): The Conservatives got back in with an increased majority.


an area in the countryside where there are both housing developments and farms, and many people travel to work in nearby cities

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