in·ner | \ˈi-nər \

Definition of inner 

1a : situated farther in the inner bark

b : being near a center especially of influence the inner circles of political power

2a : of or relating to the mind or spirit the inner life

b : existing as an often repressed part of one's psychological makeup inner child inner artist

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from inner

inner noun
innerly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for inner


cerebral, intellectual, interior, internal, mental, psychological (also psychologic)



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of inner in a Sentence

She led the guests to an inner room. the inner face of the arch the inner lining of the jacket listening to her inner voice
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Likewise, the prison diary of Vibia Perpetua of Carthage, who was martyred in 203 at the age of 21 after becoming a Christian convert, recorded both her inner thoughts and daily life, making her the founding mother of prison literature. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Literature Behind Bars," 12 July 2018 The human foot is perfectly designed to crush grapes without breaking the inner pith (a move that would release bitter flavors into your port). Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "Four Bottles of Booze That Make for Easy, High-Reward Father's Day Presents," 12 June 2018 Similar to James’ own purchases and investments, those of his inner circle also offered clues. Neal J. Leitereg,, "Did LeBron James tip his L.A. arrival through real estate?," 2 July 2018 Thomas Ravenel‘s girlfriend is still not on good terms with his inner circle. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Thomas Ravenel's Girlfriend Ashley Accused of Being an Escort: 'I Believe It,' Says Kathryn Dennis," 12 July 2018 Yet the race exposed rifts between the Republican party’s conservative base and its moneyed establishment — and within Trump’s inner circle. Nick Powell, Houston Chronicle, "Property tax exemption restored for Texas evangelist who ran for Congress in Arkansas," 15 June 2018 Bolton has not won his way into Trump’s inner circle, particularly after comparing North Korea to Libya. Katie Rogers, The Seattle Times, "‘Drama, action, emotional power’: As exhausted aides eye exits, Trump re-energized," 10 June 2018 But here’s what quiets that inner materialist: For travelers, protecting the planet can mean spending less. Terry Gardner,, "Save some money — and the planet — with these tips," 4 June 2018 However, there are two lines that divide the court into inner and outer courts. Bethany Ao,, "How to play pickleball," 12 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of inner

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for inner

Middle English, from Old English innera, comparative of inne within

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inner

Statistics for inner

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inner

The first known use of inner was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for inner



English Language Learners Definition of inner

: located toward the inside of something : not on or at the edge or outside of something

: not known to or seen by most people

: of or relating to a person's mind or spirit


in·ner | \ˈi-nər \

Kids Definition of inner

1 : located farther in an inner chamber

2 : of or relating to the mind or spirit inner strength

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on inner

What made you want to look up inner? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!