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ins and outs

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

First recorded in 1880–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ins and outs in a sentence

Other 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.
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