AskDefine | Define between

Dictionary Definition

between adv
1 in the interval; "dancing all the dances with little rest between" [syn: betwixt]
2 in between; "two houses with a tree between" [syn: 'tween]

User Contributed Dictionary



Old English betwēonum


  • a UK /bɪˈtwiːn/, /bI"twi:n/
  • a US /bɪˈtwin/, /bI"twin/
  • Hyphenation: be·tween


  1. In the position or interval that separates (two things), or intermediate in quantity or degree. (See the Usage notes below.)
    John stood between Amy and Mary.
    Let's meet between two and three.
    I want to buy one that costs somewhere between forty and fifty dollars.
  2. Shared in confidence.
    Between you and me, I think the boss is crazy.
    Let's keep this between ourselves.
  3. In transit from (one to the other, or connecting places).
    He's between jobs right now.
    The shuttle runs between the town and the airport.
  4. Combined (by effort or ownership).
    Between us all, we shall succeed.
    We've only got £5 between us.
  5. One of (representing a choice).
    You must choose between him and me.

Usage notes

  • Some usage guides claim that Between is correctly used when applied to two things, and that for more than two things, among should be used instead. However, the OED writes, "V. 19. In all senses, between has been, from its earliest appearance, extended to more than is still the only word available to express the relation of a thing to many surrounding things severally and individually, among expressing a relation to them collectively and vaguely: we should not say ‘the space lying among the three points,’ or ‘a treaty among three powers,’ or ‘the choice lies among the three candidates in the select list,’ or ‘to insert a needle among the closed petals of a flower.’"


in the position or interval that separates two things
  • Arabic: (bayna)
  • Catalan: entre
  • Czech: mezi
  • Danish: mellem
  • Dutch: tussen
  • Esperanto: inter
  • Finnish: välissä, keskellä
  • French: entre
  • West Frisian: tusken
  • German: zwischen
  • Greek: ανάμεσα
  • Hebrew: בין (bein)
  • Ido: inter
  • Italian: tra, fra
  • Japanese: (あいだ, aida)
  • Latin: inter
  • Persian: اندر
  • Polish: pomiędzy, między
  • Portuguese: entre
  • Romanian: între
  • Russian: между, посреди
  • Spanish: entre
  • Swedish: mellan
  • Welsh: rhwng
shared in confidence by
in transit from one to the other
combined by effort or ownership
  • Danish: tilsammen, ved fælles hjælp, i forening
  • Dutch: onder
  • Finnish: kesken, yhteensä
  • Portuguese: entre
one of, representing a choice

See also

Extensive Definition

Between in Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series is a dimension through which dragons and fire lizards travel during the process of teleportation, referred to as "going between". If the dragon does not have a clear picture of its destination in mind, it is possible for the dragon and its passengers to become permanently lost in this dimension. Deliberately going "between" without a destination in mind is how dragons suicide, usually occurring when the rider that they are soul-bonded to dies of illness or injury, or if the dragon itself is mortally injured. Many characters, fire lizards, and dragons have been lost "between" (i.e. "Moreta's Ride"). In Todd McCaffrey's Dragonsblood, several make it out of "between" after they are lost.
"Between" is universally described as a place of nothingness. Usually, for a dragon to teleport using its rider's directions, they stay in "between" for the time that it takes to cough three times. Fire lizards take eight seconds to teleport anywhere on the planet. "Between" frequently causes cystitis and child-bearing problems in female dragonriders. Going "between" without proper coordinates is a frequent cause of death for inexperienced weyrlings.
"Between" is characterized by extreme cold (far below zero yet not as cold as outer space) and induces near-total sensory deprivation in humans who travel through it on dragonback. This effect on the rider can be nullified, however, through the use of a space suit and oxygen. Dragons and fire lizards deliberately use this ability to destroy any Thread which they come in contact with, as only fire, water, or the extreme cold of "between" is capable of killing this parasite.
Dragons are also capable of travelling "between" times, but this can only be used when they have a point of reference for that time, such as star positions or a vivid memory. The White Dragon, Ruth, could travel between to any time without fail, including to the future. "Timing it" was known to many riders a long time ago, but, since Lessa and Ramoth brought the weyrs forward, it was kept a secret. Riders who "Time" to a very distant era without protective gear, or to a past location in close proximity of their past self can experience fatal fatigue and disorientation. Since its discovery, the knowledge of this ability has been restricted, and only Bronze dragons are permitted to utilise it under directions from the Weyrleaders.
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