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inner

[in-er]
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adjective
  1. situated within or farther within; interior: an inner door.
  2. more intimate, private, or secret: the inner workings of the organization.
  3. of or relating to the mind or spirit; mental; spiritual: the inner life.
  4. not obvious; hidden or obscure: an inner meaning.
  5. noting or relating to an aspect of a person's mind or personality that has not been fully discovered, revealed, or expressed: a place where anyone can find their inner artist regardless of skill level.
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Origin of inner

before 900; Middle English; Old English innera, comparative based on the adv. inne within, inside; see inmost, -er4
Related formsin·ner·ly, adverb, adjectivein·ner·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for inner

close, constitutional, essential, familiar, focal, inherent, inside, interior, internal, intestinal, intimate, intrinsic, inward, nuclear, central, concealed, deep-rooted, deep-seated, emotional, esoteric

Examples from the Web for inner

Contemporary Examples of inner

Historical Examples of inner

  • Thence they entered the inner Ceramicus, where Aspasia resided.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • What my inner self may be I am not prepared to say, but I know that it is there, as everyone else knows that it is in him.

  • Also of the inner court he writes of '4 Toures, wherof the Kepe is one.'

  • She never had been able to see the inner workings of Eileen's heart.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • He was led into an inner room where he saw a man seated at a large desk.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for inner

inner

adjective (prenominal)
  1. being or located further insidean inner room
  2. happening or occurring insideinner movement
  3. relating to the soul, mind, spirit, etcinner feelings
  4. more profound or obscure; less apparentthe inner meaning
  5. exclusive or privateinner regions of the party
  6. chem (of a compound) having a cyclic structure formed or apparently formed by reaction of one functional group in a molecule with another group in the same moleculean inner ester
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noun
  1. Also called: red archery
    1. the red innermost ring on a target
    2. a shot which hits this ring
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Derived Formsinnerly, adverbinnerness, noun
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 inner

adj.

c.1400, from Old English inra, comp. of inne (adv.) "inside" (see in). Cf. Old High German innaro, German inner. An unusual evolution for a comparative, it has not been used with than since Middle English. Inner tube in the pneumatic tire sense is from 1894. Inner city, in reference to poverty and crime, is attested from 1968.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper