Meaning of IN in English

I. (|)in, ən; usu ə n after t, d, s, or z as in “split in two”, often ə m after p or b as in “up in front”, often ə ŋ after k or g as in “sick in bed”, often n before ə as in “heʸs in a hurry” preposition

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German in, preposition, in, Old Norse ī, Gothic in, Latin in, Greek en, Old Prussian en, Russian v, vo, vn-



(1) — used as a function word to indicate location or position in space or in some materially bounded object

put the key in the lock

travel in Italy

play in the street

wounded in the leg

read in bed

look up a quotation in a book

(2) chiefly Britain : on

squatting down in his heels — R.M.Daw

tramcars which run in tracks — Manual of Firemanship (Gt. British)

best dwelling house in the island — Padraic Fallon

(3) : into

broke in pieces

called in council on many occasions — U.S. Investor

threw it in the fire

wouldn't let her in the house — Springfield (Massachusetts) Daily News


(1) — used as a function word to indicate position or location in something immaterial or intangible

saw him in my dreams

the position of the artist in society

or the fact of belonging to a group or association

you're in the army now

are you in the orchestra

(2) — used as a function word to indicate activity, occupation, or purpose

advanced in hot pursuit

in search of lost treasure

in honor of this event

what is all this in aid of … — Sydney (Australia) Bulletin

(3) — used as a function word to indicate a position or relationship of authority or responsibility

in charge of the company's affairs

in command of the garrison

(4) : in the course of

in cooling this material hardens

drowned in crossing the river

(5) — used as a function word to indicate close connection by way of implication or active participation

in the plot

in an amateur play

(6) — used as a function word to indicate engagement in a business identified with a particular commodity

he's in oil, he's in rice — Ethel Merman

her mother's family were … in butter — Mary Manning

was in buttons but had started to expand into novelties — Mary Barrett


(1) — used as a function word to indicate a material, mental, or moral situation or condition

a house in ruins

a boy in love

he's in luck

in great pain

up to his waist in water

or an environing condition

the city lay in darkness

basking in sunshine

(2) — used as a function word to indicate something that envelops or covers

a book bound in buckram

covered in mud — Nevil Shute

covered in … cotton plaid — Spiegel's Catalog

(3) — used as a function word to indicate a cultivated or natural plant cover

valley bottom is in grass — P.E.James

75 percent of all the cropped land is in cereals — Samuel Van Valkenburg & Ellsworth Huntington

most of the surface is in woods or brush — L.E.Klimm

(4) — used as a function word to indicate something that is being worn

a tall man in a bowler hat — Christopher Isherwood

racing the horse in binders

— often used to indicate a salient characteristic of what is being worn

a lady in black

d. — used as a function word with an accompanying concrete word to indicate a physiological condition or process (as pregnancy or the condition of producing or yielding)

in lamb

a cow in milk


(1) — used as a function word with an accompanying concrete word to indicate affluence or easy financial circumstances

the Madrileño in the money loves to make a splash — E.D.Hauser

I am generally in cash — Lord Byron

(2) — used as a function word to indicate possession or display of some trait or attribute

a gentleman in a gray goatee — Al Hine

the sheep are in wool

the corn's in silk and tassel — G.S.Perry

in figure slim — W.H.Hudson †1922

f. : under the influence of (an alcoholic drink)

when in liquor, he would scutter up a tree like a squirrel — S.H.Adams

in drink

in one's cups



(1) : within the limits of a space of time expressed or implied

early in April

come in time

in the days of my childhood

in a few minutes he was there

(2) : during the course of : during

in his long journeys throughout the country — Darcy Ribeiro

in all that time I never saw him

(3) : during the space of : at any time during : for

the coldest day in twenty years

have not seen him in months

b. : at

united in this time of peril

vested in the governor acting in his discretion — Achievement in the Gold Coast

c. — used as a function word to indicate a proportion or rate

the mix was one in twenty — F.W.Crofts



(1) — used as a function word to indicate means or instrumentality

scribbled and scratched over … in pencil or nail — William Faulkner

caught his coat in the gate latch — L.Y.Erskine

treated in moist heat — F.D.Smith & Barbara Wilcox

(2) : by virtue of : on account of : for the reason that

it is also complex, in being an integral part of a rich and many-sided mind — E.R.Bentley

resemble the … Uplands in the fact that generally they provide an environment unfriendly to human occupancy — Samuel Van Valkenburg & Ellsworth Huntington

— often used in the phrase in that

a fallacious argument in that it is based on false premises

(3) — used as a function word to indicate material or constituents

a memorial in Vermont granite — Bernard De Voto

tell the court … in what her cargo consisted — F.W.Crofts

an artist in oils

(4) — used as a function word to indicate degree, extent, or measure

flock to his exhibitions in thousands — Herbert Read

in the main, we are in agreement

not discouraged in the least

(5) — used as a function word to indicate a class of objects

something in a vacuum cleaner — John Steinbeck

the latest thing in cars

b. — used as a function word to indicate manner, form, or arrangement

buying a pig in installments — Dodie Smith

told in confidence

written in French

carry all your funds in traveler's checks — Richard Joseph

c. : with reference to : as concerns

wonders if actors of other countries are as happy in their audiences as we are — Phyllis Robbins

care must be exercised in the amount of tannic acid used — C.M.Whittaker & C.C.Wilcock

in fall color they have few peers — Laurence Lowry

Greek in language, culture, and religion — Franc Shor

six feet in height

a library rich in manuscripts

in the matter of your account


a. — used as a function word to indicate consideration of a thing strictly limited to its own essence, nature, or merits, apart from its relations to others

in itself, the matter has no importance

nothing is beautiful in itself

— compare thing-in-itself

b. — used as a function word to indicate the specific object, sphere, or aspect to which a qualification is restricted

in him you have a fine leader

much remains to be done in this field

a very worthy gentleman, in truth

that we expect in persons of your station — W.S.Gilbert

my trust is in the Lord

believe in his good faith

rich in hope — Shakespeare


(1) : within — used of an inherent quality, attribute, or significance

has no pity in him

there is nothing in that story

(2) : within the capacity or powers of

if I … had anything like that in me, it would have made itself felt before now — Hamilton Basso

d. : in spiritual union with

love one's brothers in Christ

e. : within the grant of : in the power or control of

the scholarship is in the trustees of the fund

5. : in the key of

in F

- not in it

II. |in adverb

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English in, inn; akin to Old High German in, adverb, in, Old Norse & Gothic inn, Old English in, preposition



(1) : to or toward the inside especially of a house or other building : into a certain space : inside

the door is locked, I can't get in

opened the window and climbed in

broke in and made the arrest

(2) : in a particular direction : to or toward some destination

drove 20 miles in and walked the rest of the way

flew in on the first plane

it was shank's mare from there in — Shelby Foote

(3) : into a position of proximity : so as to be near some point : near

trackless trolleys able to swing in to the curb — Springfield (Massachusetts) Union

the enemy closed in

: at close quarters

advised the infielders to play in

(4) : so as to envelop gradually with something intangible or nebulous

darkness closed in

the fog moved in

b. : into the midst or into the surface of something so as to form a part

put in some sugar

mix in the flour

paint in another figure

— often used in combination

built- in stabilizers


(1) : to its place

fit a piece in

(2) : so as to conform, agree, or submit : into line

fell in with our plans

will he fit in


(1) : to or into a particular place

get your orders in early

called us in for a conference

(2) : to one's house

had some friends in for dinner

had a girl in to serve



(1) : within a particular place ; especially : within the customary place of residence, practice, or business

is your mother in

the doctor will be in at 2

(2) : in a place that is the goal of a journey or course : at one's destination or terminus

the whole whaling fleet was in — H.A.Chippendale

wild riders of the High Plains, in from the ranches — American Guide Series: Texas

is the train in

two runs in last inning

(3) : in place or position

is the key in

had to climb a ladder because the stairs were not yet in — Current Biography

the footings are already in — Building Estimating & Contracting


(1) : on the interior or inner side : within

shut a person in

(2) : so as to confine or surround

snowed in

fence cattle in

(3) : in jail or prison

what offense is he in for

(4) of a ship's sails : in a furled or stowed condition


(1) : in the position of a participant, accomplice, insider, or observer — usually used with on

it's exciting to be in on that — May Sarton

was in on the scheme — E.S.Morgan

let some members of the diplomatic corps in on the government's intention — Sydney Gruson

bankers who are in on current … thinking — Wall Street Journal

time his visit so that he might sit in on the Civil War — Theatre Arts

(2) : in or into participation in a pot by betting as required by the rules

come in for three chips

count me in

stay in the pot


(1) : in office or power

the Tories were in again — John Strachey

also : in the position of having won an election

in by a landslide

(2) : with legal privilege or title : in possession — used of a holding, possession, or seisin

in by descent

(3) : in someone's good graces : on good terms — usually used with with

in with the courthouse gang — D.D.McKean

in strong with the white folks — Ralph Ellison

(4) : in a specified relation as regards favor, esteem, or terms of association

in bad with the boss

(5) : in a position of assured or definitive success

by the end of the performance I was in — Emmett Kelly

why, you're in , fellow — Amateur Athlete

also : in vogue or style

jewelry is in this year — G.A.Wagner


(1) chiefly Britain : in or into a burning or lighted condition

blow in a fire

the streetlights … were in — E.M.Lustgarten

(2) : in season

strawberries are in

: in cultivation

had some two hundred acres in — Eve Langley

: in condition to be harvested : in mature condition

when cotton is in their devotion to the crop alters them completely — American Guide Series: Arkansas

(3) : at bat (as in cricket)

the last man in

(4) of an oil well : in or into production

the well has come in

(5) : in effect

rationing by points is over and rationing by the purse is in — Economist


(1) : in one's possession or control : at one's disposal : at hand

the evidence is not all in — W.C.Allee

the answers aren't in — Roscoe Drummond

(2) : in a completed or terminated state

when our own crops were in — A.W.Barkley

after harvests are in

(3) : in evidence : on hand

October was in , mild and languorous — Maurice Hewlett

(4) : in a specified service or employment

had in enough time as mate — H.A.Chippendale

put in a lot of time on that job

3. : to the end : indefinitely — used as an intensive with on

every feeding time from there on in — Land Kaderli

- in for

- in for it

III. transitive verb

( inned ; inned ; inning ; ins )

Etymology: Middle English innen, from Old English innian to include, go in, from in, inn, adverb

now dialect chiefly England : enclose , reclaim ; also : harvest

IV. adjective

Etymology: in (II)


a. : that is located inside or within

the in part

b. : that is in position, connection, operation, or power

the in party

c. : having its inning

the in team

2. : that is directed inward : proceeding or bound toward the interior or inner side : incoming

the in train

V. noun

( -s )

Etymology: in (II)

1. : one who is in office or power or on the inside

wanted to be an in — W.A.White

— usually used in plural

a matter of ins versus outs — L.K.Caldwell

2. : influence , pull

enjoyed some sort of in with the commandant — Henriette Roosenburg

must have an in someplace — W.R.Burnett

3. : a ball hit in bounds in tennis or squash

VI. abbreviation

1. inch

2. inlet

I. adjective

( -es )

1. : inside 3a

an in joke

2. : extremely fashionable ; broadly : having widespread popularity

the in place to go

3. : keenly aware of and responsive to what is new and smart

the in crowd

• in-ness ˈinnə̇s noun

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.