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[in-er] /ˈɪn ər/
situated within or farther within; interior:
an inner door.
more intimate, private, or secret:
the inner workings of the organization.
of or relating to the mind or spirit; mental; spiritual:
the inner life.
not obvious; hidden or obscure:
an inner meaning.
noting or relating to an aspect of a person's mind or personality that has not been fully discovered, revealed, or expressed:
a place where anyone can find their inner artist regardless of skill level.
Origin of inner
before 900; Middle English; Old English innera, comparative based on the adv. inne within, inside; see inmost, -er4
Related forms
innerly, adverb, adjective
innerness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for inner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thence they entered the inner Ceramicus, where Aspasia resided.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • What my inner self may be I am not prepared to say, but I know that it is there, as everyone else knows that it is in him.

  • Also of the inner court he writes of '4 Toures, wherof the Kepe is one.'

  • She never had been able to see the inner workings of Eileen's heart.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • He was led into an inner room where he saw a man seated at a large desk.

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
British Dictionary definitions for inner


adjective (prenominal)
being or located further inside: an inner room
happening or occurring inside: inner movement
relating to the soul, mind, spirit, etc: inner feelings
more profound or obscure; less apparent: the inner meaning
exclusive or private: inner regions of the party
(chem) (of a compound) having a cyclic structure formed or apparently formed by reaction of one functional group in a molecule with another group in the same molecule: an inner ester
(archery) Also called red
  1. the red innermost ring on a target
  2. a shot which hits this ring
Derived Forms
innerly, adverb
innerness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for inner

c.1400, from Old English inra, comp. of inne (adv.) "inside" (see in). Cf. Old High German innaro, German inner. An unusual evolution for a comparative, it has not been used with than since Middle English. Inner tube in the pneumatic tire sense is from 1894. Inner city, in reference to poverty and crime, is attested from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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