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[ou-ter] /ˈaʊ tər/
situated on or toward the outside; external; exterior:
outer garments; an outer wall.
situated farther out or farther from the center:
the outer reaches of space.
of or relating to the external world.
Origin of outer
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at out, -er4
Related forms
outerness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for outer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were putting on outer clothes from the store-room to protect them from the dirt and damp.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • The fiend prevailed; and Prudence vanished into the outer darkness.

    John Inglefield's Thanksgiving Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • In two days he found one egg on the outer skin of the grape.

  • The outer gate was shut, and all the blinds on the front of the house were closed.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • The ship had a good run from off Mahon to Leghorn where we anchored in the outer roads.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for outer


adjective (prenominal)
being or located on the outside; external
further from the middle or central part
  1. the white outermost ring on a target
  2. a shot that hits this ring
(Austral) the unsheltered part of the spectator area at a sports ground
(Austral & NZ, informal) on the outer, excluded or neglected
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 outer

late 14c., comparative of out (on analogy of inner), replacing by 18c. forms descended from Old English uttera (comp. of Old English ut "out") which developed into utter and was no longer felt as connected with out. Outer space first attested 1901 in writings of H.G. Wells.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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