out·er | \ˈau̇-tər \

Definition of outer 

1 : existing independent of mind : objective outer reality

2a : situated farther out the outer limits

b : being away from a center the planet's outer rings

c : situated or belonging on the outside an outer covering

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Synonyms & Antonyms for outer


exterior, external, outside, outward


inner, inside, interior, internal, inward

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Examples of outer in a Sentence

the outer edges of the roof The package's outer covering was damaged. I removed the outer skin of the onion. Her inner turmoil was masked by an outer calm.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Bark is the term used to describe that outer crust that forms on meat. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Ribs 101: Pitmasters offer advice on cooking ribs," 1 July 2018 These networks of sensors picked up the vibrations from earthquakes as the waves of energy moved below the Earth’s surface, and scientists used that data to analyze the rock structures far below the outer crust. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, "New Research Discovers Surprising Seismic Activity Under New England," 26 June 2018 The lamb is especially alluring, stuffed with jerk spices and slowly roasted until its outer crust falls, upon slicing, into a dark rubble that in New Orleans would be called debris. New York Times, "A Brooklyn Favorite for Jamaican Food Beats the Odds," 26 June 2018 Mapping Earth’s interior Another group of scientists, led by Princeton University geoscientist Jeroen Tromp, plans to use Summit to map Earth’s interior in unprecedented detail — from the outer crust straight down to the core. NBC News, "5 ways the world's fastest supercomputer could change the world," 18 June 2018 The crisp thin outer crust gives way to a surprisingly tender almost ciabatta-like texture inside that is eminently edible. Beth Segal, cleveland.com, "Il Rione Pizzeria: A passion for pizza in Gordon Square," 11 May 2018 Scientists believe there is ample energy and heat for a liquid water ocean under the methane lakes and icy outer crust of the giant moon. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "Farewell to the Greatest Space Mission of Our Time," 11 Sep. 2017 The woman made it to the garage’s outer wall, climbed through an opening, and dropped. Nancy Rommelmann, Good Housekeeping, "Amanda Stott-Smith Was a Loving Mother of 3. So Why Did She Try to Murder Her 2 Youngest Kids?," 29 June 2018 Prefab concrete slabs form the outer walls, but Mr. Saraiva improved the material by adding black pigment into the mix, then painting the tinted slabs black again. J. S. Marcus, WSJ, "Where Luxury Meets a Prefab Home," 27 June 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for outer

Middle English, from out entry 4 + -er entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near outer





Outer Banks

outer bar

outer closure

Statistics for outer

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for outer

The first known use of outer was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of outer

: located on or toward the outside of something : not on or at the inside or center of something

: of or relating to a person's body or physical appearance rather than to a person's mind or spirit


out·er | \ˈau̇-tər \

Kids Definition of outer

: located on the outside or farther out I peeled off the onion's outer skin. Storms damaged the outer row of trees.

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Comments on outer

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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