out·​side | \ˌau̇t-ˈsīd, ˈau̇t-ˌsīd\

Definition of outside 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a place or region beyond an enclosure or boundary: such as

(1) : the world beyond the confines of an institution (such as a prison)

(2) often capitalized, in Alaska : the world beyond the territory or state of Alaska especially : the 48 contiguous states

b : the area farthest from a specified point of reference: such as

(1) : the side of home plate farthest from the batter

(2) : the part of a playing area toward the sidelines

(3) : the part of a playing area away from the goal

2 : an outer side or surface

3 : an outer manifestation : appearance

4 : the extreme limit of a guess : maximum the crowd numbered 10,000 at the outside



Definition of outside (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : of, relating to, or being on or toward the outer side or surface the outside edge

b : of, relating to, or being on or toward the outer side of a curve or turn

c : of, relating to, or being on or near the outside an outside pitch

2a : situated or performed outside a particular place

b : connected with or giving access to the outside outside telephone line

3 : maximum

4a : not included or originating in a particular group or organization blamed the riot on outside agitators

b : not belonging to one's regular occupation or duties outside interests

5 : barely possible : remote an outside chance

6 : made or done from the outside borrowed a basketball and practiced his outside shot



Definition of outside (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : on or to the outside

2 : outdoors



Definition of outside (Entry 4 of 4)

1 used as a function word to indicate movement to or position on the outer side of

2 : beyond the limits of outside the scope of this report outside the law

3 : except

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Synonyms & Antonyms for outside

Synonyms: Noun

exterior, face, shell, skin, surface, veneer

Synonyms: Adjective

exterior, external, outer, outward

Synonyms: Adverb

alfresco, out, outdoors

Synonyms: Preposition

apart from, aside from, bar, barring, beside, besides, but, except (also excepting), except for, excluding, exclusive of, other than, outside of, save, saving

Antonyms: Noun

inside, interior

Antonyms: Adjective

inner, inside, interior, internal, inward

Antonyms: Adverb


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Examples of outside in a Sentence


The house looks nice from the outside. painted the outside of the house


the outside edge of the foot She turned on the outside light to see what was making the noise. The phone will not let you make outside calls. The company hired an outside consultant. a businessman with few outside interests besides golf There were outside influences that affected his decision to retire early.


The children love playing outside. It's nice outside, with not a cloud in the sky. He ran outside to see what the noise was about. He looked outside at the snow. The candy was hard outside but chewy inside. The car seemed in good condition outside.


We waited outside the store. He kept his hands outside his pockets. There was a dog barking outside the house. She finished the race five seconds outside the record. We live outside the city. I have never traveled outside the U.S. before. No one outside the group knew of their plans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From the outside, there don’t appear to be hard feelings between Brett and J.Crew. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "J.Crew launched its newest brand 16 days ago. Now it’s closing.," 30 Nov. 2018 Situated in the forest overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the domes look like any other dome from the outside (which is to say, like amazing alien pods). Liz Stinson, Curbed, "You can rent these modern geodesic domes nestled in a forest," 15 Nov. 2018 The order seems fairly obvious from the outside, but how do the coaches view the hierarchy? Jon Wilner Pac-12 Hotline, The Seattle Times, "What’s the best job in the Pac-12? Even coaches say there’s an obvious hierarchy," 25 Oct. 2018 Instead, teachers had to open their doors and use a key to lock them from the outside. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Broward sheriff's deputies took cover behind cars, tree with Parkland shooter believed in school, report says," 2 Oct. 2018 Samsung is actually using two separate displays to create its foldable phone — one on the inside, and a smaller display on the outside — unlike Royole’s FlexPai, which uses a single folding display on the outside of the device. Tom Warren, The Verge, "The foldable phones are coming," 8 Nov. 2018 In addition, Tyler spends more time describing the hospital interior than its outside — and let’s face it, one hospital room looks much like any other. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Anne Tyler's latest novel evokes Hamilton. Here are possible real-life stand-ins for locations in 'Clock Dance'," 13 July 2018 Waiting for her outside was Ray Greene, a white Jacksonville lawyer and entrepreneur who had become fixated on her story. Jeff Maysh, Smithsonian, "The Counterfeit Queen of Soul," 28 June 2018 The veteran jock should get plenty of pace to run into with a lot of speed signed on to his outside. Scott Shapiro, The Courier-Journal, "Twinspires.com's free expert pick for Sunday at Churchill Downs," 2 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Lawmakers would also be able to obtain outside counsel. Erica Snow, WSJ, "Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Work to Restrict Incoming Democratic Governor," 3 Dec. 2018 Uber, Lyft driver wants the data In the fight over the city data, Uber and Lyft faced high-powered lawyers — city of Seattle attorneys and outside counsel, and lawyers representing The Wall Street Journal, which also sought the data. David Gutman, The Seattle Times, "Uber and Lyft drop data fight with Seattle, and start another over Sea-Tac Airport data," 13 Nov. 2018 Lannon, who has served as outside counsel for several universities in harassment lawsuits, says that the revocation of tenure is a very lengthy and disruptive process that both colleges and the accused must agree to. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 2018 So fielding specific questions from the outside counsel about his notes, his calendar from 1982. Fox News, "Kavanaugh's high school friend reacts to fiery testimony," 28 Sep. 2018 Uresti was its outside legal counsel, a 1 percent owner and recruited investors. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "Judge refuses to appoint Uresti’s lawyer of choice for appeal," 12 July 2018 Ducey's office selected the outside counsel that conducted the investigation, which did not include an interview of the woman who had made the accusations. Craig Harris, azcentral, "Arizona Parks Director Sue Black again faces investigation for her treatment of staff," 10 July 2018 The June 18 memo, prepared by outside legal counsel at the request of legislative leaders, summarizes interviews with six women, four of whom say Hill touched them inappropriately at a bar. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill will address allegations in Monday press conference," 8 July 2018 But, her remarks came after extensive arguments from attorney Deborah Caplan, who was hired as outside counsel by the city along with her firm Olson Hagel & Fishburn. Phillip Molnar, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Judge needs more time to review SDSU West's stadium ballot initiative," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The shaking began with a sharp jolt and lasted for a minute, causing many people to run outside. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "Alaska’s earthquake didn’t kill anyone—here’s why," 3 Dec. 2018 Another security guard at the tavern said the officer jumped onto the bar and waved an assault rifle before running outside and fatally shooting the guard, an attorney said Tuesday. Don Babwin, The Seattle Times, "Death of black security guard brings call for investigation," 13 Nov. 2018 Unlike Prince George's fourth birthday portrait, this year's photo is taken outside on what appears to be the same day as his younger brother Prince Louis' christening. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Prince George's 5th Birthday Portrait Is Here and He Looks Adorable," 21 July 2018 Residents ran outside to find the crashed car and called police. Carli Teproff, miamiherald, "911 call reporting hit-and-run crash leads to deadly discovery, police say," 12 July 2018 The top racers are tanned and freckled from time spent running outside, with muscular arms and uneven tan lines. Pia Peterson, New York Times, "Road Race of the Superwomen," 5 July 2018 According to Abdulridha, others who live in the apartments heard a woman screaming and saw people running outside. Ruth Brown, Nicole Blanchard And Jason Lantz, idahostatesman, "Stabbing suspect attacked victims during a 3-year-old's birthday party to 'exact vengeance'," 1 July 2018 DeGuzman said that the security officer showed up after running outside and asking her sister to call the police. Claire Morgan And Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "Beat up and bitten at Taco Bell: Sacramento woman wants answers after robbery," 28 June 2018 Larry Whitfield, 72, who lives around the corner, ran outside and saw that the crashed plane was on fire. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Pilot in fatal crash reported landing gear, fuel problems," 25 June 2018

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


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1813, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for outside

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outside

The first known use of outside was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for outside



English Language Learners Definition of outside

 (Entry 1 of 4)

the outside : an area around or near something (such as a building)

: an outer side, edge, or surface of something



English Language Learners Definition of outside (Entry 2 of 4)

: located on or near an outer side, edge, or surface of something

: located in or near the area around a building and not inside it

: involving people who are not in the same building, group, or organization as you



English Language Learners Definition of outside (Entry 3 of 4)

: in or to a place that is near but separate from another place

: in or to a place that is in the area around or near a building and not inside it

: on the outer side, edge, or surface of something



English Language Learners Definition of outside (Entry 4 of 4)

: in a place that is near but separate from (something)

: beyond the limits or borders of (something)

: not belonging to (a group or organization)


out·​side | \au̇t-ˈsīd \

Kids Definition of outside

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : an outer side or surface The outside of the house needs painting.

2 : the greatest amount or limit : most The job will take a week at the outside.



Kids Definition of outside (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : of, relating to, or being on the outside the outside edge

2 : not belonging to a place or group outside influences

3 : barely possible an outside chance



Kids Definition of outside (Entry 3 of 4)

: outdoors entry 1 Let's play outside.



Kids Definition of outside (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : on or to the outside of outside the door

2 : beyond the limits of outside the law

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More from Merriam-Webster on outside

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with outside

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outside

Spanish Central: Translation of outside

Nglish: Translation of outside for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outside for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outside

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