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.
  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.
  1. the inward or internal part; the inside.
  2. inwards, the inward parts of the body; entrails; innards.

Origin of inward

before 900; Middle English; Old English inweard. See in, -ward Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for inwards

Contemporary Examples of inwards

  • “Anyone who looks only inwards is not going to be as successful as someone who looks outside, the world over,” Bratton said.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can Bratton Save Britain?

    William Underhill

    August 15, 2011

Historical Examples of inwards

  • I caught a sight of the inwards of his garment, and took the flame.

  • She charmed him inwards and shut the door, breathing quickly.

    A Great Man

    Arnold Bennett

  • Death felt it to his inwards: 'twas too much: Death fell a weeping in his charnel-house.


    John Keats

  • She stood, her eyes turned downwards, yet inwards, and dilating with horror.

    White Lies

    Charles Reade

  • But over the inwards of the wedding must I not linger, for much is yet to write.

    In Convent Walls

    Emily Sarah Holt

British Dictionary definitions for inwards


adverb (ˈɪnwədz) inward
  1. towards the interior or middle of something
  2. in, into, or towards the mind or spirit
pl n (ˈɪnədz)
  1. a variant spelling of innards


  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
  1. a variant of inwards (def. 1)
  1. the inward part; inside
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 inwards


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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper