1. preposition If something is within a place, area, or object, it is inside it or surrounded by it. [formal] ⇒ Clients are entertained within private dining rooms. ⇒ An olive-coloured tent stood within a thicket of trees. ⇒ ...a 1987 agreement which would recognise Quebec as a distinct society within Canada. Within is also an adverb. ⇒ A small voice called from within. 'Yes, just coming.' 2. preposition Something that happens or exists within a society, organization, or system, happens or exists inside it. ⇒ The motives that attract people to work within a social service are variable. ⇒ ...the spirit of self-sacrifice within an army. ⇒ Within criminal law almost anything could be defined as 'crime'.
Within is also an adverb. ⇒ The Church of England, with threats of split from within, has still to make up its mind.
3. preposition If you experience a particular feeling, you can say that it is within you. [literary] ⇒ He's coping much better within himself. ⇒ You've got to identify these inadequacies within yourself.
Within is also an adverb. ⇒ 'God!' cried Dennis from within. 'Oh, my God!'
If something is within a particular limit or set of rules, it does not go beyond it or is not more than what is allowed. ⇒ Troops have agreed to stay within specific boundaries to avoid confrontations. ⇒ Exercise within your comfortable limit. ⇒ The film will be finished within its budget.
5. preposition If you are within a particular distance of a place, you are less than that distance from it. ⇒ The man was within a few feet of him. ⇒ It was within easy walking distance of the hotel. ⇒ The rebels have advanced to within 150 kms of the capital. 6. preposition
Within a particular length of time means before that length of time has passed. ⇒ About 40% of all students entering as freshmen graduate within 4 years. ⇒ Within 24 hours the deal was completed.
7. preposition If something is within sight, within earshot, or within reach, you can see it, hear it, or reach it. ⇒ His twenty-five-foot boat was moored within sight of West Church. ⇒ ...her heels clicking on the tiled floor, probably an irritating noise to other people within earshot. ⇒ Amy looked to see if there was anything within reach that she could give him to ease the pain.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers