in·​ward·​ly | \ ˈin-wərd-lē \

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

Many hard-liners oppose the president’s bid to modernize Iran and open it for business to foreign partners, preferring a more inwardly focused, self-reliant economy. Asa Fitch, WSJ, "Rouhani Suffers Fresh Blow After Iran’s Parliament Ousts Economy Minister," 26 Aug. 2018 In the dedication to his manuscript, for example, North urges those who might see themselves as ugly to strive to be inwardly beautiful, to defy nature. Michael Blanding, New York Times, "Plagiarism Software Unveils a New Source for 11 of Shakespeare’s Plays," 7 Feb. 2018 So as Mike enjoyed the melon later that day, Penny inwardly cheered. Claire Panosian Dunavan, Discover Magazine, "Cracking Listeria’s Secrets," 15 June 2018 But like Bourne, Mason is burdened by history — his own and that of the United States — which means that his mission is at once inwardly and outwardly directed. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Beirut,’ a War-Torn Backdrop for American Spy Games," 10 Apr. 2018 In spite of its treatise-like title, the novel can feel so inwardly directed that Heti appears to be writing only for herself. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Sheila Heti Wrestles with a Big Decision in “Motherhood”," 30 Apr. 2018 For the curved screen, Apple is looking into having the display curve inwardly from top to bottom rather than curving the screen at the edges. Debby Wu, Houston Chronicle, "iPhone manufacturers' slowing sales are a bad omen for Apple," 24 Apr. 2018 Perhaps, just perhaps this teaches that to be kosher one's behavior must not only be correct, but inwardly pure. Rabbi Avi Weiss, Jewish Journal, "The rationale for the dietary laws," 9 Apr. 2018 Graham-Felsen lets boys be boys: messy-brained, impulsive, goatish, self-centered, outwardly gutsy but often inwardly terrified. Jonathan Miles, New York Times, "Bridging the Racial Divide in a Middle School Friendship," 15 Jan. 2018

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

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

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More Definitions for inwardly



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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on inwardly

Spanish Central: Translation of inwardly

Nglish: Translation of inwardly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of inwardly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on inwardly

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


to deny responsibility for

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