[ ek-sturn; for 3 also ik-sturn ]
/ ˈɛk stɜrn; for 3 also ɪkˈstɜrn /


a person connected with an institution but not residing in it, as a doctor or medical student at a hospital.
a nun of a strictly enclosed order, as the Carmelites, who resides inside the convent but outside its enclosure and who chiefly goes on outside errands.


Archaic. external; outer.

Origin of extern

1525–35; < Latin externus, derivative of exter, exterus. See exterior
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for extern

British Dictionary definitions for extern



/ (ˈɛkstɜːn, ɪkˈstɜːn) /


US a person, such as a physician at a hospital, who has an official connection with an institution but does not reside in it

Word Origin for extern

C16: from Latin externus external
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

Medical definitions for extern

[ ĕkstûrn′ ]


An advanced student or recent graduate who assists in the medical or surgical care of hospital patients and may reside outside the institution.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.