between you and me


  1. in the space separating (two points, objects, etc.): between New York and Chicago.
  2. intermediate to, in time, quantity, or degree: between twelve and one o’clock; between 50 and 60 apples; between pink and red.
  3. linking; connecting: air service between cities.
  4. in portions for each of (two people): splitting the profits between them.
  5. among: sharing the responsibilities between the five of us.
  6. by the dual or common action or participation of: Between us, we can finish the job in a couple of hours.
  7. distinguishing one from the other: He couldn’t see the difference between good and bad.
  8. in comparing: no preference between the two wines.
  9. by the combined effect of.
  10. existing confidentially for: We’ll keep this matter between the two of us.
  11. involving; concerning: war between nations; choice between things.
  12. being felt jointly or reciprocated by: the love between them.
  13. by joint possession of: Between them they own most of this company.
  14. Heraldry. in the midst of, so as to make a symmetrical composition: a cross argent between four bezants.


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


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

  1. between ourselves, confidentially; in trust.Also between you and me, between you, me, and the post/lamppost/gatepost/etc.
  2. in between,
    1. situated in an intermediary area or on a line or imaginary line connecting two points, things, etc.
    2. in the way: I reached for the ball, but the dog got in between.


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

adverb Also: in between

  1. between one specified thing and anothertwo houses with a garage between

Old English betweonum “between, among, by turns,” Mercian betwinum, from bi- “by” (see be-) + tweonum dative plural of *tweon “two each” (cf. Gothic tweih-nai “two each”). Between a rock and a hard place is from 1940s, originally cowboy slang. Between-whiles is from 1670s.

Also, between ourselves; just between you and me and the bedpost or four walls or gatepost or lamppost. In strict confidence. For example, Just between you and me, it was Janet who proposed to Bill rather than vice versa. This phrase, dating from about 1300, is generally followed by some informative statement that the listener is being asked to keep secret. The variant with bedpost, also shortened to post, dates from the early 1800s; four walls, also shortened to the wall, dates from the early 1900s, as does the gatepost.

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

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