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


inner, inside, interior, inward


exterior, external, outer, outside, outward

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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 zoo also installed four video cameras and an electrified wire around the roof, including around the tops of internal columns. Janet Mcconnaughey, The Seattle Times, "New Orleans zoo returns jaguar in strengthened exhibit," 5 Feb. 2019 The Netflix data is internal and not from a third-party provider such as Nielsen, which measures TV viewership. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "‘Aquaman’ Continues Box-Office Reign as ‘Vice’ Sputters," 31 Dec. 2018 This not only harms intersex kids whose conditions are genetic and/or internal (and thus escaped the knife), but begins the societal process of assuming gender based on genitals. Samantha Riedel, Teen Vogue, "How to Break Away From the Gender Binary," 26 Oct. 2018 The two buildings connected by the internal bridge -- Cancer Research Building 1 and Cancer Research Building 2 -- were evacuated as a precaution, Hoppe said. CBS News, "Johns Hopkins buildings evacuated after possible release of tuberculosis - live updates," 5 July 2018 Today, Airbnb released a report of their trending ski destinations, based on internal data for year over year booking growth. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "These Ski Destinations Are on the Rise, According to Airbnb," 16 Jan. 2019 The nationwide opioid epidemic is becoming a common factor in child-welfare cases across Washington, according to new internal data from the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Washington Attorney General Ferguson says opioid abuse a frequent factor in child-welfare cases," 10 Oct. 2018 With its rising profile and high-stakes investors, Impossible Foods did voluntarily seek out the FDA’s opinion on whether leghemoglobin met the qualifications for a GRAS designation based on the company’s internal safety data. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "PETA roasts Impossible Burger for rat tests, suggests patties cause cancer," 11 Aug. 2018 The Times story, drawn from 60 interviews and internal company documents, illustrates how Facebook gave over presumably private data to corporate partners. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook Was Never Really For You," 19 Dec. 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

12 Feb 2019

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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

Comments on internal

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esteemed in general opinion

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