See more synonyms for internal on
  1. situated or existing in the interior of something; interior.
  2. of, relating to, or noting the inside or inner part.
  3. Pharmacology. oral(def 4).
  4. existing, occurring, or found within the limits or scope of something; intrinsic: a theory having internal logic.
  5. of or relating to the domestic affairs of a country: the internal politics of a nation.
  6. existing solely within the individual mind: internal malaise.
  7. coming from, produced, or motivated by the psyche or inner recesses of the mind; subjective: an internal response.
  8. Anatomy, Zoology. inner; not superficial; away from the surface or next to the axis of the body or of a part: the internal carotid artery.
  9. present or occurring within an organism or one of its parts: an internal organ.
  1. Usually internals. entrails; innards.
  2. an inner or intrinsic attribute.

Origin of internal

1500–10; < Medieval Latin internālis, equivalent to Latin intern(us) intern3 + ālis -al1
Related formsin·ter·nal·i·ty, in·ter·nal·ness, nounin·ter·nal·ly, adverbqua·si-in·ter·nal, adjectivequa·si-in·ter·nal·ly, adverbsem·i-in·ter·nal, adjectivesem·i-in·ter·nal·ly, adverbsub·in·ter·nal, adjectivesub·in·ter·nal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedextraneous external extrinsic internal intrinsic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for internal

Contemporary Examples of internal

Historical Examples of internal

British Dictionary definitions for internal


  1. of, situated on, or suitable for the inside; inner
  2. coming or acting from within; interior
  3. involving the spiritual or mental life; subjective
  4. of or involving a nation's domestic as opposed to foreign affairs
  5. education denoting assessment by examiners who are employed at the candidate's place of study
  6. situated within, affecting, or relating to the inside of the body
  1. a medical examination of the vagina, uterus, or rectum
Derived Formsinternality or internalness, nouninternally, adverb

Word Origin for internal

C16: from Medieval Latin internālis, from Late Latin internus inward
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 internal

early 15c., from Medieval Latin internalis, from Latin internus "within, inward, internal," figuratively "domestic," expanded from pre-Latin *interos, *interus "on the inside, inward," from PIE *en-ter- (cf. Old Church Slavonic anter, Sanskrit antar "within, between," Old High German unter "between," and the "down" sense of Old English under); suffixed (comparative) form of *en "in" (see in). Meaning "of or pertaining to the domestic affairs of a country (e.g. internal revenue) is from 1795. Internal combustion first recorded 1884. Related: Internally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

internal in Medicine


  1. Located, acting, or effective within the body.
  2. Of, relating to, or located within the limits or surface; inner.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.