[ ik-stur-nl ]
/ ɪkˈstɜr nl /



Origin of external

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at extern, -al1

Related forms

Can be confused

extraneous external extrinsic internal intrinsic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for external

British Dictionary definitions for external


/ (ɪkˈstɜːnəl) /



(often plural) an external circumstance or aspect, esp one that is superficial or inessential
Australian and NZ a student taking an extramural subject

Derived Forms

externally, adverb

Word Origin for external

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

Medicine definitions for external


[ ĭk-stûrnəl ]


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.