Meaning of INTO in English

I. |intə, -n.tu̇, -n-(ˌ)tü, +V often -ntəw preposition

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English intō, from in (II) + tō to


a. — used as a function word primarily denoting motion so directed as to terminate, if continued, when the position denoted by in has been reached and usually after a verb that carries the idea of motion or a word implying or suggesting motion or passage to indicate a place or thing entered or penetrated or enterable or penetrable by or as if by a movement from the outside to an interior part

came into the house

the river ran into the sea

traveled into the next state

a route into the wilderness

imports into this country

the mountains merge into the plain

brought into membership in the club

off we go into the wide blue yonder

but sometimes in constructions in which the idea of motion is carried by the very use of into in preference to in

among the first into the field — New York Herald Tribune

they were into their clothes and on deck — H.A.Chippendale

the child was into the cookie jar as soon as no one was looking

stores them away into an inner pocket — A.J.Coutts

baptized into the Catholic Church

b. : in toward

sailed the boat into the pier

the batter leaned into the pitch

it stood close into a fine cottonwood grove — Willa Cather

keeping well into the foot or lower slopes of the scarpside — S.G.Joseph

2. chiefly Scotland : in 1a(1)

living into his new house


a. — used as a function word indicating a state or condition assumed, brought into being (as by force), or allowed to come about

enter into bliss

drive someone into despair

fall into decay

land brought into cultivation

collapses into hysterics and quits — H.F. & Katharine Pringle

b. — used as a function word that usually follows words carrying an idea of alteration or suggesting or implying alteration and that indicates a form or condition assumed often with loss of original or essential identity and emergence as something else

came into being

develop into a butterfly

compounds resolved into simple substances

translate a book into French

divide a hospital into several wards

fold a paper into four

the barn was remodeled into a garage

the land was plowed into broad ridges and hollows — L.D.Stamp

the book went into edition after edition

divide the theme into a beginning, a middle, and an ending

4. — used as a function word to indicate something accepted or acquired (as for possession)

talked himself into a good job

came into an inheritance



(1) obsolete : to , toward

(2) : toward and as far as (something considered central)

go into town

go into market

b. : in the direction of

looking into the sun

looked into his plate and said nothing

turned into the wind

c. : up to : as far as

since then — right into today — you and I have enjoyed … the economic idea of roaring production — Sylvia F. Porter

d. : against 2a

run into a wall

fell into a fence

the mixture is run into an endless moving wire screen — American Guide Series: Louisiana


a. — used as a function word to indicate the dividend in mathematical division

dividing 3 into 6 gives 2

b. archaic : by : together with — used with multiply

7. — used as a function word to indicate a set of circumstances, a function, action, or occupation entered upon or taken on

get into trouble

go into business

force into compliance

might be tortured into divulging military information — G.A.Craig


a. — used as a function word indicating something in which a literal or figurative insertion or introduction is made or in which there is inclusion

pushed the hose into the pipe

read a new meaning into a sentence

water enters into the composition of the human body

marry into an influential family

introduced a bill into the legislature

play a song into a microphone

soon got into the act

b. — used as a function word to indicate something penetrated by the sight or insight or by an intellectual process (as investigation, reflection, or analysis)

peer into the distance

look into the future

search into his motives

inquire into his activities

insights into religion and poetry

seek to look … into the hopes and fears of men and women — F.D.Roosevelt

c. : so as to impress, dent, or force inward

pressed the marble into the palm of his hand

force the grease into the bearings

d. — used as a function word to indicate something slowed or stopped in its course or impeded by interruption

into the path of a train

stepped into a punch on the jaw

butt into their conversation

e. : so as to permeate or fill

gases expanding into a vacuum — S.F.Mason

f. : in direct connection or contact with

I am into a heavy fish … have already taken a twelve-inch bass on the same plug — Paul Brooks

9. — used as a function word indicating a period of time or an extent of space of which a portion is used or occupied

sang far into the night

went some distance into the next month before paying the bill

stretched into the distance

10. — used as a function word to indicate something contributed to, paid, received in exchange, or dealt with by handling in some way

all the sugar we had went into the cake

his pay check went into the rent

their spare cash went into some new furniture

all their brain power went into solving the problem

11. : so as to include

the company then expanded into bakery machines and specialized sewing machines — Time

II. preposition

: involved with or interested in

her two children … are both into art — New York

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