in·ter·nal | \ in-ˈtər-nᵊl , ˈin-ˌtər- \

Definition of internal 

1 : existing or situated within the limits or surface of something: such as

a(1) : situated near the inside of the body

(2) : situated on the side toward the median plane of the body

b : of, relating to, or occurring on the inside of an organized structure (such as a club, company, or state) internal affairs

2 : relating or belonging to or existing within the mind

3 : intrinsic, inherent internal evidence of forgery in a document

4 : present or arising within an organism or one of its parts internal stimulus

5 : applied or intended for application through the stomach by being swallowed an internal remedy

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Other words from internal

internality \ˌin-ˌtər-ˈna-lə-tē \ noun
internally \in-ˈtər-nᵊl-ē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for internal


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



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Examples of internal in a Sentence

the internal structure of the planet a patient who is experiencing internal bleeding

Recent Examples on the Web

The lawsuit, along with on-going Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, has turned up hundreds of internal documents on the matter. Lucas Laursen, Fortune, "Why Monsanto Could Soon Get Hit With a Flood of Cancer-Related Lawsuits," 11 July 2018 Heinz Fromm, the head of the German domestic intelligence, resigned in 2012 over failures in the investigation into the group and the premature shredding of an internal document salient to the case. New York Times, "Neo-Nazi Terrorist Jailed for Life in Case That Shamed Germany’s Spies," 11 July 2018 In its report, ABC News cited an internal U.S. government document that said the first phase of an evacuation plan could be completed by 6 p.m. Saturday local time, with the second phase starting as soon as Sunday morning local time. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Thai soccer team, coach pen letters to families while rescue efforts continue," 7 July 2018 But according to Politico, and a May letter from US senators to Pruitt, internal documents about the report tell a different story. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Formaldehyde causes cancer. The EPA doesn’t want to acknowledge it.," 6 July 2018 Now, everyone’s salary is listed on an internal document for everyone to see. Rebecca Greenfield,, "Employers are finally ready to talk about how much they pay," 6 July 2018 In some cases, the internal documents show, the VA ratings were only slightly worse. Donovan Slack, Usa Today, And Andrea Estes, USA TODAY, "Secret data: Most VA nursing homes have more residents with bed sores, pain, than private facilities," 25 June 2018 Now Tesla is looking to close around a dozen installation facilities, according to internal company documents, and is ending its sales partnership with Home Depot. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Layoffs Likely Hitting Solar Panel Divisions, Internal Documents Show," 22 June 2018 Video provided by Shayne Holland IMPD is conducting an internal investigation to review the actions of an off-duty police officer accused of discriminating against a black man at an apartment complex swimming pool. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "IMPD investigating officer involved in alleged profiling incident at swimming pool," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'internal.' 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 internal

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for internal

Middle English internalle, from Latin internus; akin to Latin inter between

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Statistics for internal

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for internal

The first known use of internal was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of internal

: existing or located on the inside of something

: coming from inside

: existing or occurring within your body


in·ter·nal | \ in-ˈtər-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of internal

1 : being within something : inner The core is part of the earth's internal structure.

2 : occurring or located within the body The heart is an internal organ.

3 : existing or occurring within a country internal affairs

Other words from internal

internally adverb


in·ter·nal | \ in-ˈtərn-ᵊl \

Medical Definition of internal 

1 : existing or situated within the limits or surface of something: as

a : situated near the inside of the body an internal layer of abdominal muscle

b : situated on the side toward the midsagittal plane of the body the internal surface of the lung

2 : present or arising within an organism or one of its parts an internal stimulus

3 : applied or intended for application through the stomach by being swallowed an internal remedy

Other words from internal

internally \in-ˈtərn-ᵊl-ē \ adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on internal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for internal

Spanish Central: Translation of internal

Nglish: Translation of internal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of internal for Arabic Speakers

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