external

adjective
ex·​ter·​nal | \ ek-ˈstər-nᵊl How to pronounce external (audio) \

Definition of external

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : capable of being perceived outwardly external signs of a disease
b(1) : having merely the outward appearance of something : superficial
(2) : not intrinsic or essential external circumstances
2a : of, relating to, or connected with the outside or an outer part the building's external features
b : applied or applicable to the outside a lotion for external use
3a(1) : situated outside, apart, or beyond specifically : situated near or toward the surface of the body
(2) : arising or acting from outside an external force
b : of or relating to dealings or relationships with foreign countries
c : having existence independent of the mind external reality

external

noun

Definition of external (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is external: such as
a : an outer part
b : an external feature or aspect usually used in plural

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Other Words from external

Adjective

externally \ ek-​ˈstər-​nᵊl-​ē How to pronounce external (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for external

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of external in a Sentence

Adjective the external features of the building the external signs of the disease
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Threats can be categorized as internal or external but often overlap. Mark Thacker, Forbes, "How To Use SWOT Analysis In Your Exit Planning," 10 May 2021 Some of these candidates work at the Yale Investments Office, as the endowment is known, while others were external candidates. Dawn Lim, WSJ, "Yale Prepares to Take Its Succession Test," 10 May 2021 The tank boat will be used to defend the Indonesian archipelago from external threats and pirates. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Indonesia Built a Damn Tank Boat," 10 May 2021 And even that goes against the reasonable external expectations placed upon this ball club. Dallas News, "The Rangers are back to .500. But more importantly, they’ve shown they’ll keep things interesting," 9 May 2021 Some locals worry that shuttling guests back and forth between an external port and the city on multiple smaller boats might cause as much damage as the current system. Julia Buckley, CNN, "The truth about cruise ships in Venice," 8 May 2021 With cloud computing, an organization can rent computers, programmers and security experts from an external provider such as Amazon instead of maintaining its own data centers. Washington Post, "How did Amazon grow so fast? By thinking outside the shipping box.," 7 May 2021 Like the first season, there’s a midseason flashback episode that becomes the gestalt for all the big resolution gestures, and all of it is rooted in character work rather than too-visible external plot devices. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Mythic Quest Returns, Imperfect But Easy to Love," 7 May 2021 In this holistic approach, the external was inseparable from the internal, and so the beauty industry began to crib from the New Age lexicon, shifting its pitch from warfare to self-care, from concealing imperfections to healing and nourishment. New York Times, "How Botanical Oils Won Over the West," 7 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Information out to the Foundation, alumni and other externals, too. Dawn Rhodes, chicagotribune.com, "Southern Illinois University president ousted amid swirling controversy," 13 July 2018 The externals extend upward from the hipbone to the ribs and spine, and the internals rise forward from the hip to ribs. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's an oblique? Explaining the pesky strain that's keeping baseball players down," 23 Apr. 2018 While the Notebook 9 Pen carries the high-end internals that would justify a $1,399 price tag, its externals don't match up. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Samsung Notebook 9 Pen review: Stylus convenience, devoid of style," 4 Apr. 2018 The kind of love that isn’t based on externals, but on a deep connection within. Paige Davis, Health.com, "Breast Cancer Stripped Me Down Physically and Emotionally—and Taught Me More Than I Ever Imagined About Love," 2 Apr. 2018 After a minute or so, the mind goes outward once again and attends to the externals. Martin Seligman, BostonGlobe.com, "When the brain is off to sleep — but hard at work," 22 Mar. 2018 MEMBERS OF THE EXTERNAL EXPERT ADVISORY PANEL PETER HARVEY, Esq. NOLA.com, "NFL suspends Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott for 6 games," 11 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'external.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of external

Adjective

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

circa 1635, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for external

Adjective

Latin externus external, from exter — more at exterior

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Time Traveler for external

Time Traveler

The first known use of external was in 1542

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Statistics for external

Last Updated

13 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“External.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/external. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for external

external

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of external

: located, seen, or used on the outside or surface of something
: coming from outside
: existing or occurring outside your mind

external

adjective
ex·​ter·​nal | \ ek-ˈstər-nᵊl How to pronounce external (audio) \

Kids Definition of external

: situated on or relating to the outside : outside

external

adjective
ex·​ter·​nal | \ ek-ˈstərn-ᵊl How to pronounce external (audio) \

Medical Definition of external

1 : capable of being perceived outwardly : bodily external signs of a disease
2a : situated at, on, or near the outside an external protective covering an external muscle
b : directed toward the outside : having an outside object external perception eyesight and the other external senses
c : used by applying to the outside an external lotion
3a(1) : situated near or toward the surface of the body also : situated away from the mesial plane the external condyle of the humerus
(2) : arising or acting from outside : having an outside origin external causes external stimuli
b : of, relating to, or consisting of something outside the mind : having existence independent of the mind sensations aroused by external phenomena external reality

Other Words from external

externally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce external (audio) \ adverb

Comments on external

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