General English


  • adjective in, especially in a company’s office or building


  • preposition with the bat moving along a line on the near side of the ball’s line of flight, so that the ball passes the outside edge of the bat
    Citation ‘Howarth played inside a perfect ball which just clipped the off bail’ (Matthew Engel, Guardian 3 February 1984)
    Compare outside


  • adjective known or carried out by people who belong to a particular group or organisation


  • adjective in prison. Formerly a piece of euphemistic underworld slang dating from the 19th century, this word has become so widely known since the late 1950s as to be a colloquialism rather than true slang.


  • adjective used for describing a position nearer to the centre of the field than another position of the same name

Origin & History of “inside”

Inside (a compound, of course, of in and side) was originally a noun, meaning ‘inner surface’ (‘Solomon builded the walls on the inside with Cedar timber’, Miles Coverdale’s translation of I Kings 6:15 1535), and it was not used as an adjective until the early 17th century – by Shakespeare, in fact. Adverbial and prepositional use are more recent still, from around the end of the 18th century.