[with-in, with-]




the inside of a place, space, or building.

Origin of within

before 1000; Middle English withinne (preposition and adv.), Old English withinnan (adv.), equivalent to with with- + innan from within, equivalent to in in + -an suffix of motion from
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for within

inner, interior, inward, in, indoors

Examples from the Web for within

Contemporary Examples of within

Historical Examples of within

  • Eudora, what is it within us, that listens where there is no sound?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Then I heard a mighty voice, that seemed to proceed from within the Parthenon.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • That, however, is neither here nor there: but it got within two blocks of there at 11.25.

  • He found the restaurants moderate in price, and within his means.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • Within their own territory each one could act independently.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

British Dictionary definitions for within



in; inside; enclosed or encased by
before (a period of time) has elapsedwithin a week
not beyond the limits of; not differing by more than (a specified amount) fromlive within your means; within seconds of the world record


formal inside; internally
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

Word Origin and History for within

Old English wiðinnan, literally "against the inside," see with + in.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with within


In addition to the idioms beginning with within

  • within an ace of
  • within bounds
  • within call
  • within reach
  • within reason

also see:

  • in (within) reason
  • spitting distance, within
  • wheels within wheels
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.