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I wonder if we should make an idiom entry for "in a long time"? It seems like one would have to stretch the existing senses of "in" pretty far before they logically realized the meaning which "in" realizes in "in a long time". As in: "I haven't seen you in a long time". (Signed Language Lover)

Of course we should. We need entries for all multiword terms, such as burn up, burn down, for a while, in a while, etc. —Stephen 17:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


In Arabic "in" is في, pronounced "fee". I don't know how to add this, though. Wrad 17:55, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

It is already there. —Stephen 21:51, 25 October 2007 (UTC)
Really? I don't see it at all. Wait, now I do, sorry, I'm new here. Wrad 21:59, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


See Appendix:Collocations of in. It contains hundreds of collocations taken from COCA of "in" with following nouns:

  1. in + noun singular
  2. in + noun plural
  3. in + a + noun singular
  4. in + the + noun singular
  5. in + the + noun plural
The work on this appendix has just begun.
The plan includes:
  1. Basic formatting:
    1. headers
    2. lower case
    3. wikilinking
  2. Addition of other collocations that are in wiktionary but not in the lists.
  3. Excluding apparent cases of attributive use of noun.
  4. Checking the nouns to make sure that we have the appropriate senses thereof.
  5. Classifying the nouns along multiple dimensions relevant to "in".
  6. Comparing presentations of "in" in dictionaries and other linguistic resources.
  7. Matching senses of "in" against classes of nouns.
  8. Making a reasonable set of not-too-much-overlapping definitions of in.
  9. Proposing elimination of any non-idiomatic prepositional phrases that have no other merit.
  10. Adding entries for any missing idioms involving the collocations.

IOW, this is a way of making many types of improvements in wiktionary entries based on the use of the vast collocation databases available. Apart from the formatting I do not know how this could be automated, but would welcome any suggestions in that regard or in any other regard including the wisdom of the undertaking. DCDuring TALK 21:57, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Glosses of Preposition

1 Contained by.
2 Surrounded by.
3 Part of; a member of.
4 Pertaining to (that particular thing).
5 After a period of time.
6 By virtue of; by means of
7 Into.

For matching with collocation words to identify possible missing senses. DCDuring TALK 20:43, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


From RfC

A well-meaning, but misguided translator has destroyed this entry, splitting into separate senses things that aren't separate senses in English. --Connel MacKenzie 07:58, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Could you please be more specific? I don't see any problems. --EncycloPetey 15:18, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The entry looks like it could use more separate senses for the preposition, not fewer. MW3 has 5 main senses (not all of them in our entry ("in" as in "in the key of" is missing) and 18 subsenses. I'm fairly sure that we don't have a lot of the more figurative sub-senses. DCDuring 01:58, 16 January 2008 (UTC)


should be here? e.g. 5in = 5 inch 15:23, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

[type of thing] in [specific example][edit]

The preposition "in" has another meaning in English that I can't seem to find listed here, indicating a logical/grammatical relationship between two nouns, specifically, that the latter is an example or instance of the former. I have two citations, and I came looking looking for more, but found none. Here are the two citations that I have:

  • You've Got a Friend in Me, the song from the movie Toy Story.
  • A news headline, Has Iron Man met his match in Ben Kingsley? (which talks about a studio having cast an actor to fill the previously-vacant role of villain in an upcoming movie).
I agree a sense is missing. I have added it, but it needs a definition line. Equinox 21:22, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Defintion Of "in pale"[edit]

What would the definition of "in" be when used in the vexology sense "in pale"?Curb Chain (talk) 05:15, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

English preposition missing[edit]

am I wrong or the preposition list of meanings lack the most important that is locative like f.e. "My relatives live IN New York" or "I live IN England". ?

Preposition sense[edit]

Which of the given senses would be "in" in a phrase such as: a behaviour found in many children? You don't find the behaviour in them, right? It rather means something like "among" or "by". Is this sense already covered?

You can find a behaviour in a single child, so "among" isn't right. I would say it's sense 3 (part of; a member of) and/or sense 15 (within). A behaviour is "in" a person in the same way that thoughts and dreams are. Equinox 05:08, 23 March 2014 (UTC)

"bash your brains in" (or similar)[edit]

I think I've come across a phrase "bash your brains in" (or "bash your head in", or maybe both). In what sense(s) is "in" used in such phrases?

  • Adverb - moving to the interior. SemperBlotto (talk) 01:05, 25 September 2015 (UTC)