Meaning of “into” in the English Dictionary

"into" in British English

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uk /ˈɪn.tuː/ us /ˈɪn.tuː/

into preposition (INSIDE)

A1 to the inside or middle of a place, container, area, etc.:

Would you put the jar back into the cupboard for me, please?
Let's go into the garden.
Stop running around and get into bed!
I can't get into these trousers any more. They're far too small for me.

More examples

  • They climbed into the truck and drove away.
  • The door opened and a nurse came into the room.
  • Crack three eggs into a bowl and mix them together.
  • He thrust his hands into his pockets.
  • He took off his clothes and got into the bath.

into preposition (CHANGE)

A2 used to show when a person or thing is changing from one form or condition to another:

Peel the cucumber and chop it into small cubes.
There was a series of explosions and the van burst into flames (= started to burn violently).
Her novels have been translated into 19 languages.
We're planning to turn the smallest bedroom into an office.

More examples

  • The commercialization of football has turned it from a sport into a business.
  • Could we convert the small bedroom into a second bathroom?
  • These chemicals quickly degrade into harmless compounds.
  • Over time, their acquaintance developed into a lasting friendship.
  • Heavy rainfall turned the river into a rushing torrent.

into preposition (TOUCHING FORCEFULLY)

B1 used to show movement that involves something touching something else with a lot of force but without moving inside it:

He's always walking into things when he doesn't have his glasses on.

More examples

  • The car skidded and went out of control, crashing into an oncoming truck.
  • The plane crashed into a mountainside.
  • A stone was digging into my heel.
  • She bumped into his tray, knocking the food onto his lap.
  • I wasn't looking where I was going and walked into a lamppost.

into preposition (TOWARDS)

B1 in the direction of something or someone:

She was looking straight into his eyes.

More examples

  • The bull tossed him up into the air.
  • There was an accident on the main road into town.
  • She shone the torch into the dark room.
  • I trekked all the way into town to meet him and he didn't even turn up.
  • Chuck it into the corner.

into preposition (ABOUT)

involving or about something:

an inquiry into the cause of the accident

More examples

  • Citizens have demanded a full inquiry into the government's handling of the epidemic.
  • Inquiry into the matter is pointless - no one will tell you anything.
  • She's researching into possible cures for AIDS.
  • They are doing some fascinating research into the language of dolphins.
  • Several social workers have looked into the child's case.

(Definition of “into” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"into" in American English

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us /ˈɪn·tu, -tə/

into preposition (INSIDE)

toward the inside or middle of something and about to be contained, surrounded, or enclosed by it:

Pour some sugar into the bowl.
They went into the backyard.

into preposition (CONNECTED WITH)

connected with or involved in a condition or activity:

My father went into the army the day after the war began.
I know I should do my taxes but I just don’t want to get into it now.

infml Into also means strongly interested in or involved with something:

Jeanne is heavily into music.
Ken is into long-distance running.

into preposition (CHANGE)

used to show when a person or thing is changing from one form or condition to another:

Peel the potatoes and chop them into small cubes.
We made the extra bedroom into an office.
Her novels have been translated into nineteen languages.

into preposition (MOVEMENT)

used to show movement that involves two things coming together with force:

fig. Guess who I ran into (= met unexpectedly) at the shopping mall!

into preposition (DIVISION)

used when referring to the division of one number by another number:

5 into 10 is 2.

(Definition of “into” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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