within - definition and synonyms

adverb, preposition 

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Within can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): Can you complete the work within a month?
as an adverb (without a following noun): As Helen approached the front door, she could hear a telephone ringing within.
  1. 1
    inside a period of time
    1. a.
      before the end of a period of time

      We expect an announcement within the next 24 hours.

    2. b.
      during a particular period of time

      Within the past few weeks, 215 people have been arrested.

      Within living memory these mountains were the home of the brown bear.

    3. c.
      used for saying how soon one thing happens after another

      We arrived within two minutes of each other.

      Seventy per cent of patients die within a year of becoming infected with the virus.

  2. 2
    formal inside an area, building, room, or space

    As she neared the door, she heard voices within and hesitated.

    There were four churches within the walls of the ancient city.

    Within, the hotel is simple and friendly with a small lounge and a breakfast room.

  3. 3
    included in the range of things that are possible, reasonable, or allowed

    The government was doing everything within its power to help the victims.

    Private security firms must still operate within the limits of the law.

    within reason (=not more than is reasonable):

    I am willing to pay whatever price you ask – within reason.

  4. 4
    used when saying what happens in a group or organization

    Mr Potter complained about the lack of leadership within the health service.

    from within:

    The power structure of the country was being threatened from within.

  5. 5
    not more than a particular distance or amount
    1. a.
      not more than a particular distance away
      within reach of something (=close enough to a place for you to go there easily):

      Hotel Belvedere is within easy reach of the town centre.

      within sight/earshot (=close enough for you to see or hear):

      At last our little boat came within sight of Alexandria Bay.

      Hurry up!’ Dan yelled, as soon as Peter was within earshot.

    2. b.
      used for showing that a number is almost correct or accurate because the difference is not more than a particular amount
  6. 6
    formal used when referring to the qualities, feelings, or thoughts that are in someone’s character or mind

    I feel a lot more confident within myself.

    from within:

    She has a kind of spiritual strength that comes from deep within.