Pronunciation: (in), [key]
prep., adv., adj., n., v., inned, in•ning.

1. (used to indicate inclusion within space, a place, or limits): walking in the park.
2. (used to indicate inclusion within something abstract or immaterial): in politics; in the autumn.
3. (used to indicate inclusion within or occurrence during a period or limit of time): in ancient times; a task done in ten minutes.
4. (used to indicate limitation or qualification, as of situation, condition, relation, manner, action, etc.): to speak in a whisper; to be similar in appearance.
5. (used to indicate means): sketched in ink; spoken in French.
6. (used to indicate motion or direction from outside to a point within) into: Let's go in the house.
7. (used to indicate transition from one state to another): to break in half.
8. (used to indicate object or purpose): speaking in honor of the event.
9. in that, because; inasmuch as: In that you won't have time for supper, let me give you something now.

1. in or into some place, position, state, relation, etc.: Please come in.
2. on the inside; within.
3. in one's house or office.
4. in office or power.
5. in possession or occupancy.
6. having the turn to play, as in a game.
7. Baseball.(of an infielder or outfielder) in a position closer to home plate than usual; short: The third baseman played in, expecting a bunt.
8. on good terms; in favor: He's in with his boss, but he doubts it will last.
9. in vogue; in style: He says straw hats will be in this year.
10. in season: Watermelons will soon be in.
11. be in for, to be bound to undergo something, esp. a disagreeable experience: We are in for a long speech.
12. in for it, Slang.about to suffer chastisement or unpleasant consequences, esp. of one's own actions or omissions: I forgot our anniversary again, and I'll be in for it now. Also, Brit.,for it.
13. in with, on friendly terms with; familiar or associating with: They are in with all the important people.

1. located or situated within; inner; internal: the in part of a mechanism.
2. Informal.
a. in favor with advanced or sophisticated people; fashionable; stylish: the in place to dine; Her new novel is the in book to read this summer.
b. comprehensible only to a special or ultrasophisticated group: an in joke.
3. well-liked; included in a favored group.
4. inward; incoming; inbound: an in train.
5. plentiful; available.
6. being in power, authority, control, etc.: a member of the in party.
7. playing the last nine holes of an eighteen-hole golf course (opposed to out): His in score on the second round was 34.

1. Usually, ins. persons in office or political power (distinguished from outs).
2. a member of the political party in power: The election made him an in.
3. pull or influence; a social advantage or connection: He's got an in with the senator.
4. (in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) a return or service that lands within the in-bounds limits of a court or section of a court (opposed to out).

v.t. Brit. Dial.
to enclose.


Indiana (approved esp. for use with zip code).


Symbol, Chem.


a prefix representing English in (income; indwelling; inland, etc.), but used also as a verb-formative with transitive, intensive, or sometimes little apparent force (intrust; inweave, etc.). It often assumes the same forms as in-2, such as en-, em-, im- 3.


a prefix of Latin origin meaning primarily “in,” but used also as a verb-formative with the same force as in- 1 (incarcerate; incantation). Also,il-,im-,ir-.Cf. em-, en-.


a prefix of Latin origin, corresponding to English un-, having a negative or privative force, freely used as an English formative, esp. of adjectives and their derivatives and of nouns (inattention; indefensible; inexpensive; inorganic; invariable). It assumes the same phonetic phases as in- 2 (impartial; immeasurable; illiterate; irregular, etc.). In French, it became en- and thus occurs unfelt in such words as enemy (French ennemi, Latin inimicus, lit., not friendly). Also,il-,im-,ir-.


a suffix, occurring in adjectives of Greek and Latin origin, meaning “pertaining to,” and (in nouns thence derived) also imitated in English (coffin; cousin, etc.).


a noun suffix used in a special manner in chemical and mineralogical nomenclature (glycerin; acetin, etc.). In spelling, usage wavers between -in and -ine. In chemistry a certain distinction of use is attempted, basic substances having the termination -ine rather than -in (aconitine; aniline, etc.), and -in being restricted to certain neutral compounds, glycerides, glucosides, and proteids (albumin; palmitin, etc.), but this distinction is not always observed.


a suffixal use of the adverb in, extracted from sit-in, forming compound nouns, usually from verbs, referring to organized protests through or in support of the named activity (kneel-in; chain-in; be-in) or, more generally, to any organized social or cultural activity (cook-in; sing-in).


inch; inches.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

See also:
  • in (Thesaurus)
  • in (Encyclopedia)

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