between - definition and synonyms

adverb, preposition 

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Between can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): the distance between two places
as an adverb (without a following noun): two periods of study with a short break between
  1. 1
    with someone/something on each side or end
    1. a.
      if someone or something is between two other people or things, the two people or things are on each side of them

      Hold the needle between your finger and thumb.

      Gatwick is about halfway between London and Brighton.

      in between:

      Charlotte sat in between her two sons at the reception.

      Put the two smaller vases on the ends and the big one in between.

    2. b.
      connecting two places

      Trains running between Liverpool and Manchester were delayed.

  2. 2
    in the period after one time or event and before the next

    The office will be closed between Christmas and New Year.

    The show opens next Monday. Between now and then we’ll be rehearsing every day.

    in between:

    Try to avoid snacks in between meals.

    I have two classes this morning, with a short break in between.

  3. 3
    within a range of numbers, amounts, ages etc

    Choose a number between 1 and 10.

    children between the ages of 4 and 13

    in between:

    Fifteen is too few, but 30 is probably too many – somewhere in between would be about right.

  4. 4
    involving people or things
    1. a.
      used for showing which people or groups are involved in an agreement, discussion, competition, fight etc

      a conversation between the Prime Minister and the President

      The match between England and Germany will be worth watching.

    2. b.
      used for showing that two things, people, organizations, or ideas are related or connected

      There has been a steady improvement in relations between China and the rest of the world.

      Scientists believe there is a link between diet and certain types of cancer.

    See also among
  5. 5
    used for stating which two people or things are similar or different

    Does a five-year-old know the difference between right and wrong?

    There are obvious parallels between computer systems and the working of the human brain.

    the gap between rich and poor

  6. 6
    used for showing how a total is divided
    1. a.
      used for showing how something is shared or divided

      We agreed to split the profits between us on a fifty-fifty basis.

      The head teacher has to divide up her time between administration and classroom teaching.

    2. b.
      used for showing that the total amount of something is owned, given, or produced by two or more people

      Between us, we managed to collect over £2,000.

  7. 7
    used for showing that you can choose one out of two or more things

    They’re both beautiful designs – it’s hard to choose between them.

    Third year students have a choice between philosophy, sociology, and economics.

See also