See also: idir-


Alternative formsEdit


From Old Irish eter, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁enter (between). Cognate with Latin inter (between) and Sanskrit अन्तर् (antár, between, within, into). Compare Scottish Gaelic eadar.



idir (plus nominative in singular, dative in plural, triggers lenition except in certain constructions with distance, time, difference, or opposition)

  1. between
    idir fhir agus mhnábetween men and women
    • 2014, Bruno Coulais (lyrics and music), “Amhrán Na Farraige [Song of the Sea]”:
      Idir ann is idir as. Idir thuaidh is idir theas.
      Between in and between out. Between north and between south.
  2. both (paired with agus (and))
    idir chait agus mhadraíboth cats and dogs
  3. partly...partly..., half...half... (paired with agus (and))
    idir bheith ag caint agus chanadhhalf talking, half singing

Usage notesEdit

  • In modern usage, only has inflected forms in the plural. Is used with nouns and singular pronouns in combination with another noun or pronoun:
idir é agus mébetween him and me
  • In the sense of strictly "between", does not trigger lenition when a definite path can be traced between the things being described; often occurs with distance, time, and difference and almost always occurs with opposition:
idir Maigh Eo agus Gaillimhbetween Mayo and Galway
idir fómhar agus geimhreadhbetween autumn and winter
an difríocht idir maith agus olcthe difference between good and evil
cogadh idir tíorthawar between countries
cluiche idir Baile Átha Cliath agus Corcaigha game between Dublin and Cork
idir thithebetween houses (indistinct, cannot be represented by a definite path)
idir shaoiríbetween holidays
cur idir dhaoineto interfere between people
  • When mutation does occur, the s in agus blocks mutation of d, s, and t in the following word even though it is not the trigger:
idir Phádraig agus Tadhgbetween Patrick and Tadhg
idir rith agus siúlhalf running, half walking
idir shonas agus deorabetween happiness and tears



  1. ^ Quiggin, E. C. (1906) A Dialect of Donegal, Cambridge University Press, page 34

Scottish GaelicEdit


From Old Irish etir (at all), originally 3rd person sg. neut. form of Old Irish eter (between).




  1. at all
    Chan eil idir.Not at all.
    Chan e idir.That is not it at all.
    Cha tig e idir.He will not come at all.
    No idir air a bhruicheadh.Nor even boiled.
    Chan eil e gu math idir.He is not at all well.
    Cha deanainn idir e.I would not do it on any account.
    Cha toil leam purpaidh idir.I don't like purple at all.
  2. yet


  • Edward Dwelly (1911), “idir”, in Faclair Gàidhlig gu Beurla le Dealbhan [The Illustrated Gaelic–English Dictionary], 10th edition, Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited, →ISBN
  • G. Toner, M. Ní Mhaonaigh, S. Arbuthnot, D. Wodtko, M.-L. Theuerkauf, editors (2019), “etir”, in eDIL: Electronic Dictionary of the Irish Language
  • A Pronouncing and Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language (John Grant, Edinburgh, 1925, Compiled by Malcolm MacLennan)