American English

Definition of in adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1For the special uses of in in phrasal verbs, look at the entries for the verbs. For example, fill in (for somebody) is in the phrasal verb section at fill. contained within an object, an area, or a substance We were locked in.
  2. 2into an object, an area, or a substance She opened the door and went in. The kids were playing by the river and one of them fell in.
  3. 3(of people) at home or at a place of work Nobody was in when we called. opposite out
  4. 4(of trains, buses, etc.) at the place where people can get on or off, for example the station The bus is due in (= it should arrive) at six.
  5. 5(of letters, etc.) received Applications must be in by April 30.
  6. 6(of the tide) at or toward its highest point on land Is the tide coming in or going out?
  7. 7elected Several new council members got in during the last election.
  8. 8(in tennis, etc.) if the ball is in, it has landed inside the line Her serve was barely in.
  9. Idioms
    be in at something
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    to be present when something happens They were in at the beginning.
    be in for something (informal)
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    to be going to experience something soon, especially something unpleasant He's in for a shock! I'm afraid we're in for a storm.
    be/get in on something (informal)
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    to be/become involved in something; to share or know about something I'd like to be in on the plan. Is she in on the secret?
    be in with somebody (informal)
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    to be (very) friendly with someone, and likely to get an advantage from the friendship
    in and out (of something)
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    going regularly to a place He was in and out of jail for most of his life.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: in