"Among" or "amongst"?

Among is the earlier word of this pair: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it first appeared in Old English. The variant form, amongst, is a later development, coming along in the Middle English period. With regard to their meanings, there’s no difference between among and amongst. They’re both prepositions which mean:

  • situated in the middle of a group of people or things:

We saw a factory tucked in among the houses.

Dad has agreed to cook and that frees me up to mingle amongst my guests.

  • belonging to or happening within a group:

These companies were among those to indicate lower earnings.

I was amongst the last to leave.

  • indicating a division or choice between three or more people or things:

The grant will be divided among the six participating institutions.

It certainly did not mean that this income is shared out equally amongst the population.


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