[ in-bi-tween ]
/ ˌɪn bɪˈtwin /

noun Also in-be·tween·er.

a person or thing that is between two extremes, two contrasting conditions, etc.: yeses, noes, and in-betweens; a tournament for professional, amateur, and in-between.
a person who handles the intermediary steps, as in a manufacturing or sales process.


being between one thing, condition, etc., and another: a coat for in-between weather.

Origin of in-between

First recorded in 1805–15

Related forms

in-be·tween·ness, noun

Definition for inbetween (2 of 2)


[ bih-tween ]
/ bɪˈtwin /



Usually betweens. a short needle with a rounded eye and a sharp point, used for fine hand stitchery in heavy fabric.


in the intervening space or time; in an intermediate position or relation: two windows with a door between; visits that were far between.

Origin of between

before 900; Middle English betwene, Old English betwēonan, betwēonum, equivalent to be- be- + twēon- (cognate with Gothic tweihn(ai) two each) + -um dative plural ending

Related forms

be·tween·ness, noun

Can be confused

among between (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

Among expresses a relationship when more than two persons or things are involved: Distrust spread among even his strongest supporters. Between is used when only two persons or things are involved: between you and me; to decide between tea and coffee. Between also continues to be used, as it has been throughout its entire history, to express a relationship of persons or things considered individually, no matter how many: Tossing up coins between three people always takes a little working out. Between holding public office, teaching, and writing, she has little free time.
Although not generally accepted as good usage, between you and I is heard occasionally in the speech of educated persons. By the traditional rules of grammar, when a pronoun is the object of a preposition, that pronoun should be in the objective case: between you and me; between her and them. The use of the nominative form ( I, he, she, they, etc.) arises partly as overcorrection, the reasoning being that if it is correct at the end of a sentence like It is I, it must also be correct at the end of the phrase between you and …. The choice of pronoun also owes something to the tendency for the final pronoun in a compound object to be in the nominative case after a verb: It was kind of you to invite my wife and I. This too is not generally regarded as good usage.
The construction between each (or every ) is sometimes objected to on the grounds that between calls for a plural or compound object. However, the construction is old and fully standard when the sense indicates that more than one thing is meant: Spread softened butter between each layer of pastry. There were marigolds peeking between every row of vegetables. The construction betweento is a blend of betweenand ( between 15 and 25 miles ) and fromto ( from 15 to 25 miles ). It occurs occasionally in informal speech but not in formal speech or writing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for inbetween (1 of 2)



intermediatehe's at the in-between stage, neither a child nor an adult


an intermediate person or thing

British Dictionary definitions for inbetween (2 of 2)


/ (bɪˈtwiːn) /


at a point or in a region intermediate to two other points in space, times, degrees, etc
in combination; togetherbetween them, they saved enough money to buy a car
confined or restricted tobetween you and me
indicating a reciprocal relation or comparisonan argument between a man and his wife
indicating two or more alternativesa choice between going now and staying all night

adverb Also: in between

between one specified thing and anothertwo houses with a garage between

Word Origin for between

Old English betwēonum; related to Gothic tweihnai two together; see two, twain


After distribute and words with a similar meaning, among should be used rather than between : this enterprise issued shares which were distributed among its workers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with inbetween


In addition to the idioms beginning with between

  • between a rock and a hard place
  • between the lines
  • between you and me

also see:

  • betwixt and between
  • come between
  • draw a line between
  • fall between the cracks
  • few and far between
  • hit between the eyes
  • in between
  • in between times
  • read between the lines
  • tail between one's legs
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.