I was thinking about how little I use the word among and how I would phrase the dictionary's example sentences for it. Most of it involved substitution with the word with. Then I noticed something. For the sentence, "There are peanuts among the almonds," I say, "There are peanuts in with the almonds." However, Dictionary.com, the O.E.D., and Merriam-Webster only list "in with" as meaning "associating with" or "on friendly terms with."

How common is this use of "in with" to mean among; would this be understood by a majority of speakers on both sides of the pond; and would this be acceptable under the three Cs (context, convention, and circumstance)?

  • 1
    What do you think of 'mixed in with' for your nut example? Either way, I wouldn't say that this phrase could step in as a direct substitute for 'among' in all contexts. Apr 25, 2016 at 22:02
  • 3
    Certainly in the context of the nuts, "in with" works fine (in the US), and probably "sounds better" than "among". In other contexts it might not work as well, and could even be taken the wrong way. ("In with" is slang for "colluding with".)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 25, 2016 at 22:09
  • You certainly could use it that way to get in good with certain audiences, while not my preferred speaking style I have certainly seen the phrase used in just that way.
    – Yeshe
    Apr 25, 2016 at 22:43
  • @Dodecaphone, yes, I use "mixed in with" too. You're right: It would not be a substitute for "among" in all contexts. I was just referring to this example. Apr 26, 2016 at 5:00
  • 1
    @Dodecaphone, I don't think so. Certain uses of "among" sound very natural to me, and I don't remember a time when I didn't understand what it meant. I think the change lies with a few uses that sound too formal (AmE here). Apr 26, 2016 at 5:32

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, in with is not a thing: that is, I don't know of such a compound preposition or compound adposition and the locution is not attested in any dictionary I checked (for instance, in Wiktionary https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/in_with doesn't exist).

If I read a sentence «There are peanuts in with the almonds», my first thought is that a word must have gone missing after "in" due to a typo: «There are peanuts in the pot with the almonds».

I wonder if you got confused by some phrasal verb which uses in and is followed by with, like go in: «I go in with my friends». Sure, I'm among friends, but what I said is just that I'm entering some place together with my friends, in and with just happen to be one after the other.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.