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be·tween / biˈtwēn/ (abbr.: bet.) • prep. 1. at, into, or across the space separating (two objects or regions): ∎  expressing location: traffic was at a standstill between exits 12 and 14. ∎  expressing movement to a point: the dog crawled between us and lay down at our feet. ∎  expressing movement from one side or point to the other and back again: traveling by train between London and Paris. 2. in the period separating (two points in time): they snack between meals. 3. in the interval separating (two points on a scale): a man aged between 18 and 30 the difference between income and expenditure. 4. indicating a connection or relationship involving two or more parties: links between science and industry. ∎  with reference to a collision or conflict: a collision in midair between two light aircraft above Geneva the wars between Russia and Poland. ∎  with reference to a choice or differentiation involving two or more things being considered together: if you have to choose between two or three different options. 5. by combining the resources or actions of (two or more people or other entities): China and India between them account for a third of the global population. ∎  shared by (two or more people or things): they had drunk between them a bottle of Chianti. • adv. 1. in or along the space separating two objects or regions: layers of paper with tar in between from Leipzig to Dresden, with the gentle Elbe flowing between. 2. in the period separating two points in time: sets of exercises with no rest in between. PHRASES: between ourselves (or you and me) in confidence: just between you and me, I don't think it is going to happen.

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between between two stools one falls to the ground inability to choose between, or accommodate oneself to, alternative viewpoints or courses of action may end in disaster. Recorded in English from the late medieval period, and now more common in the metaphorical phrase to fall between two stools.

See also there's many a slip between cup and lip, between a rock and a hard place, between Scylla and Charybdis.

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between OE. betwēon(um), f. Gmc. *bi BY + *twēon, rel. to TWO.

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