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 In Al Jumail, most living spaces were courtyard houses and oriented inwardly. Dimitris Sideridis, CNN, 15 July 2021 Historically, service providers focused on a few but not all stakeholders and inwardly focused on themselves. Peter Bendor-samuel, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Nella groaned inwardly and clenched a fist beneath her desk. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 June 2021 On the other hand, part of me is inwardly fuming because no one gave me any freebies for being responsible and getting vaccinated in a timely manner. Star Tribune, 27 May 2021 The remedy is to not focus inwardly, but outwardly. Svetlana Whitener, Forbes, 20 May 2021 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, 25 Aug. 2020 Then again, some quarterbacks are inwardly focused and still obviously hyper-competitive. oregonlive, 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, 12 Mar. 2020

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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Dictionary Entries Near inwardly

Inward Light



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Cite this Entry

“Inwardly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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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