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

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 Additionally, Angler teeth curve inwardly in order to prevent prey from escaping. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Why the Anglerfish Continues To Haunt Our Dreams," 30 July 2019 In other words, a military parade too focused on a domestic audience can easily send a problematic message abroad, projecting and inwardly contracting society hostile to being part of the international community. Washington Post, "Trump’s July 4 spectacle was inspired by France. To some outside the U.S., it looks more like China.," 3 July 2019 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

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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Statistics for inwardly

Last Updated

8 Sep 2019

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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 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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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).


recurring in steady succession

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