in·​ward·​ly | \ ˈin-wərd-lē How to pronounce inwardly (audio) \

Definition of inwardly

1 : in the innermost being : mentally, spiritually
2a : beneath the surface : internally bled inwardly
b : to oneself : privately cursed inwardly

Examples of inwardly in a Sentence

She was outwardly calm but inwardly nervous.
Recent Examples on the Web Now, as a pandemic causes so many of us to live more inwardly, Macdonald’s is a voice of introspection that seems fully suited to the global grief. Matt Damsker, USA TODAY, "'Vesper Flights' review: Helen Macdonald returns with collection of soul-stirring nature essays," 25 Aug. 2020 Then again, some quarterbacks are inwardly focused and still obviously hyper-competitive. oregonlive, "Canzano: If the NFL has learned anything -- Justin Herbert to the Chargers feels about right," 19 Apr. 2020 Physically closed in and unsmiling, outwardly surly and inwardly despairing, Autumn doesn’t quip her way out of trouble or even talk that much. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’ Review: A Woman’s Heroic Journey," 12 Mar. 2020 But Schwimmer shouldn’t waste this opportunity to channel his gaze inwardly. Chris Hughes | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Now the London Stock Exchange Is Back to Life, It’s Investigation Time," 17 Aug. 2019 One of the hardest things for a presidential candidate is to put on a smiling public face for the TV cameras after spending three hours on a debate stage inwardly seething over missed opportunities and mangled lines. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "The Moderates Fight Back," 16 Oct. 2019 Many reporters, eager for fresh material, may have groaned inwardly when Stephanopoulos turned the final debate question into personal discussions of resilience in the lives of the candidates. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "What the Press Gets Wrong About Primary Debates," 13 Sep. 2019 This Aunt Lydia is publicly devout but privately defiant, outwardly pious but inwardly sardonic. Ron Charles Critic, Washington Post, "Praise be: Margaret Atwood has published a sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’," 3 Sep. 2019 Thus Catholic school raised them to be inwardly divided, set against themselves—at once desiring and despising worldly things. Paul Elie, The New Yorker, "Sex and Power in “The Catholic School”," 19 Aug. 2019

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

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

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Time Traveler for inwardly

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

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Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Inwardly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for inwardly


How to pronounce inwardly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of inwardly

: in a way that is not openly shown or stated : on the inside


in·​ward·​ly | \ ˈin-wərd-lē How to pronounce inwardly (audio) \

Kids Definition of inwardly

1 : in a way that is not openly shown or stated : privately suffering inwardly She cursed inwardly.
2 : on the inside bleeding inwardly

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