- of or relating to the outside or outer part; outer: an external surface.
- Medicine/Medical. to be applied to the outside of a body, as a remedy: for external use only.
- situated or being outside something; acting or coming from without: external influences.
- pertaining to the outward or visible appearance or show: external acts of worship.
- pertaining to or concerned with foreign countries: external affairs; external commerce.
- Zoology, Anatomy. on the side farthest from the body, the median line, or the center of a radially symmetrical form.
- Metaphysics. of or relating to the world of things, considered as independent of the perceiving mind: external world.
- the outside; outer surface; exterior.
- something that is external.
- externals, external features, circumstances, etc.; outward appearance; superficialities.
Origin of external
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. outermost, exterior.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for external
While preaching D.A.R.E. in schools, we made a drug out of external validation.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating
January 1, 2015
The Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 have differing configurations and rely on an external gun pod.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019
December 31, 2014
However useful they might be for external purposes, they will always be dangerous internally.Pakistan’s Dance With Terrorists Just Backfired and Killed 132 Children
December 17, 2014
He wants to know every external detail, even if the escape is ultimately to be shot on a sound stage.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
After all, the Prince of necessity had to focus on defeating his external enemies.Valerie Jarrett, Obama Consigliere—and Democracy Killer
November 12, 2014
The external things of life seem to me now of no importance at all.De Profundis
The essence of truth cannot be affected by the variation of external circumstances.Tales And Novels, Volume 8 (of 10)
There is no more reason to believe in oneself than in the external world.Initiation into Philosophy
Even the refuge in God does not always secure us from external suffering.Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood
If it is an imperfect word, no external circumstance can heighten its value as poetry.The Lyric
- of, situated on, or suitable for the outside; outer
- coming or acting from withoutexternal evidence from an independent source
- of or involving foreign nations; foreign
- of, relating to, or designating a medicine that is applied to the outside of the body
- anatomy situated on or near the outside of the bodythe external ear
- education denoting assessment by examiners who are not employed at the candidate's place of study
- Australian and NZ (of a student) studying a university subject extramurally
- philosophy (of objects, etc) taken to exist independently of a perceiving mind
- (often plural) an external circumstance or aspect, esp one that is superficial or inessential
- Australian and NZ a student taking an extramural subject
C15: from Latin externus outward, from exterus on the outside, from ex out of
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
Word Origin and History for external
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Relating to, connected with, or existing on the outside; exterior.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.