[ ek-ster-nal-i-tee ]
/ ˌɛk stərˈnæl ɪ ti /
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noun, plural ex·ter·nal·i·ties.
the state or quality of being external to or outside someone or something; the fact of being outer, outward, or on the surface: A child just learning to speak already has a sense of the externality of the world.
something external; an outward feature, or all outward features considered together: One can be too preoccupied with the externalities of religion.
excessive attention to external or outward features; superficiality: The article explores the externality of identity in a world of media-constructed self-image.
a side effect of some process or activity, especially a negative effect of an economic activity that is not accounted for in the price of what is produced: Externalities such as air pollution are sometimes eliminated through government regulation.They argue that there is an externality from breeding new pets, as the cute babies crowd out older pets.
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of externality

First recorded in 1665–75; external + -ity

OTHER WORDS FROM externality

non·ex·ter·nal·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use externality in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for externality

/ (ˌɛkstɜːˈnælɪtɪ) /

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