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ins and outs

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plural noun
  1. physical characteristics, as windings and turnings, nooks, or recesses: the ins and outs of a subterranean passage.
  2. intricacies; particulars; peculiarities: the ins and outs of the tax laws.

Origin of ins and outs

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ins and outs

Historical Examples

  • They correspond to the 'ins-and-outs' of our English workhouses.

    The Vagrancy Problem.

    William Harbutt Dawson

  • These little "ins-and-outs" were getting no schooling and no training save the training that fitted them for pauperism.


Idioms and Phrases with ins and outs

ins and outs

1

The intricate details of a situation or process. For example, It takes a newcomer some time to learn the ins and outs of the legislative process, or David really knows the ins and outs of how this engine works. This usage alludes to the tortuous windings and turnings of a road or path. [Second half of 1600s]

2

Those with position and influence and those without, especially those in office versus those who are not, as in “Juan stood well both with Ins and Outs” (Byron, Don Juan, 1823). [Mid-1700s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.