• synonyms


See more synonyms for externality on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural ex·ter·nal·i·ties.
  1. the state or quality of being external.
  2. something external; an outward feature.
  3. excessive attention to externals.
  4. an external effect, often unforeseen or unintended, accompanying a process or activity: to eliminate externalities such as air pollution through government regulation.
Show More

Origin of externality

First recorded in 1665–75; external + -ity
Related formsnon·ex·ter·nal·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for externality

area, top, level, face, exterior, skin, expanse, side, facade, peel, covering, stretch, obverse, cover, facet, outside, plane, periphery, rind, veneer

Examples from the Web for externality

Historical Examples of externality

  • The difficulty of this view is just this externality of the relation.

    The Problem of Truth

    H. Wildon Carr

  • But if the externality is only figurative, the existence also is figurative.

  • It is this externality of relation that makes hate and fear so poignant and so bitter.

    Beauty and the Beast

    Stewart A. McDowall

  • In the Principles of Human Knowledge, externality in its ultimate sense as independence of all mind is considered.

  • In these works he attacked the existing theories of externality which to the unphilosophical mind is proved by visual evidence.

British Dictionary definitions for externality


noun plural -ties
  1. the state or condition of being external
  2. something external
  3. philosophy the quality of existing independently of a perceiving mind
  4. an economic effect that results from an economic choice but is not reflected in market prices
Show More
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 externality


1713, from external + -ity.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper