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adverb Also in·wards.
  1. toward the inside, interior, or center, as of a place, space, or body.
  2. into or toward the mind or soul: He turned his thoughts inward.
  3. Obsolete.
    1. on the inside or interior.
    2. in the mind or soul; mentally or spiritually.
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  1. proceeding or directed toward the inside or interior.
  2. situated within or in or on the inside; inner; internal: an inward room.
  3. pertaining to the inside or inner part.
  4. located within the body: the inward parts.
  5. pertaining to the inside of the body: inward convulsions.
  6. inland: inward passage.
  7. mental or spiritual; inner: inward peace.
  8. muffled or indistinct, as the voice.
  9. private or secret.
  10. closely personal; intimate.
  11. Archaic. pertaining to the homeland; domestic.
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  1. the inward or internal part; the inside.
  2. inwards, the inward parts of the body; entrails; innards.
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Origin of inward

before 900; Middle English; Old English inweard. See in, -ward
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for inward


  1. going or directed towards the middle of or into something
  2. situated within; inside
  3. of, relating to, or existing in the mind or spiritinward meditation
  4. of one's own country or a specific countryinward investment
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  1. a variant of inwards (def. 1)
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  1. the inward part; inside
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Derived Formsinwardness, 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 inward

Old English inweard, inneweard (adj., adv.) "inmost; sincere; internal, intrinsic; deep," from Proto-Germanic *inwarth "inward" (cf. Old Norse innanverðr, Old High German inwart, Middle Dutch inwaert), from root of Old English inne "in" (see in) + -weard (see -ward).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper