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among

[uh-muhng] /əˈmʌŋ/
preposition
1.
in, into, or through the midst of; in association or connection with; surrounded by:
He was among friends.
2.
in the midst of, so as to influence:
missionary work among the local people.
3.
with a share for each of:
Divide the cigars among you.
4.
in the number, class, or group of; of or out of:
That is among the things we must do.
5.
by all or with the whole of; by most or with many of:
popular among the people.
6.
by the joint or reciprocal action of:
Settle it among yourselves.
7.
each with the other; mutually:
They quarreled among themselves.
8.
familiar to or characteristic of:
a proverb among the Spanish.
Origin
1000
before 1000; Middle English; Old English amang, onmang for on gemang, on gemonge (dative of gemong crowd, akin to mengan to mix) in (the) group (of); akin to mingle
Can be confused
amid, among, between (see synonym study at the current entry; see usage note at between)
Synonyms
Among and between suggest a relationship that is not necessarily physical: among the crowd; between two pillars; They don't have much sense among them. Between you and me, I don't like any of them. Amid, a more literary word, implies being in the middle of a place or surrounded by something: to stand amid ruins.
Usage note
See between.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for among
  • In the past few decades, however, group selection has made a quiet comeback among evolutionary theorists.
  • But resigning in protest has gained popularity of late among an unlikely group: big corporations.
  • The three finalists were chosen from among 32 team nominees for the award.
  • Just like every other industry, going green has become a mantra among airlines, car rental companies and even hotel chains.
  • Buds open to small, perfectly formed roses among deep green foliage.
  • These excuses are prevalent among online students.
  • Coral reefs, among other ecosystems, are suffering mightily at the hands of humans.
  • Studying leadership among animals has become an active research area.
  • It is particularly popular among young adults.
  • There is a lack of scientific knowledge about dreams among psychologists.
British Dictionary definitions for among

among

/əˈmʌŋ/
preposition
1.
in the midst of: he lived among the Indians
2.
to each of: divide the reward among yourselves
3.
in the group, class, or number of: ranked among the greatest writers
4.
taken out of (a group): he is only one among many
5.
with one another within a group; by the joint action of: a lot of gossip among the women employees, decide it among yourselves
Word Origin
Old English amang, contracted from on gemang in the group of, from on + gemang crowd; see mingle, mongrel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for among
prep.

early 12c., from Old English onmang, from phrase on gemang "in a crowd," from gemengan "to mingle" (see mingle). Collective prefix ge- dropped 12c. leaving onmong, amang, among. Cf. Old Saxon angimang "among, amid;" Old Frisian mong "among."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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