out·​ward | \ ˈau̇t-wərd How to pronounce outward (audio) \

Definition of outward

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moving, directed, or turned toward the outside or away from a center an outward flow
2 : situated on the outside : exterior
3 : of or relating to the body or to appearances rather than to the mind or the inner life outward beauty


out·​ward | \ ˈau̇t-wərd How to pronounce outward (audio) \
variants: or outwards \ ˈau̇t-​wərdz How to pronounce outwards (audio) \

Definition of outward (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : toward the outside
2 obsolete : on the outside : externally



Definition of outward (Entry 3 of 3)

: external form, appearance, or reality

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Synonyms & Antonyms for outward

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of outward in a Sentence

Adjective They showed no outward signs of fear, but they must have been afraid. She was waiting for some outward expression of his love. To all outward appearances, their marriage was quite normal. outward symptoms of the disease The outward migration of people from the city has hurt the city's economy greatly. He made a slight outward movement with his right hand. Adverb The window faces outward toward the street. Stand with your heels together, toes pointing outward. air flowing outwards from the lungs Noun never was there in a man such a fine, heroic outward and such a cowardly interior
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mama Cāx was both an inspiration to all, and a voice for a community often overlooked by industries that put outward appearance first. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "The Fashion and Beauty Worlds Mourn The Loss Of Model And Activist Mama Cāx," 20 Dec. 2019 For the second year in a row, there will be no swimsuit or evening gown competitions, with organizers stressing that participants are not judged on outward physical appearance. Staff And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Miss America doesn't want to be labeled as a pageant anymore. Here's why," 19 Dec. 2019 In addition to the show’s lesson about looking beneath outward appearances, its opening number celebrates our heroine’s love of reading. Web Behrens, chicagotribune.com, "40 things to do in the Chicago area with the kids in December," 24 Nov. 2019 From all outward appearances, there is no urgency to addressing the issues with the Brown Family Mom and Pop. Jay Brinker, Cincinnati.com, "Guest Morning Line: Here's the only way to save the Bengals. The Brown Family won't do it.," 8 Nov. 2019 The Infantino Flip 4-in-1 convertible carrier ($33) is lightweight and packable and flips between inward-facing (for young babies and trail-time naps) and outward-facing (for babies who want to see the world). Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "What You Need to Get Your Baby Outside All Year Long," 17 Oct. 2019 There’s more to him than meets the eye, though outward appearances are probably a good place to start. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Wild’s Matt Dumba unafraid to stand out: ‘I’m just being myself’," 11 Oct. 2019 That will give concrete advice for women and physicians [in] an outward-facing knowledge bank that is easy to comprehend and summarizes all the evidence. STAT, "How Europe is building a sweeping system to study medication safety in pregnant and lactating women," 21 June 2019 Two entertainment systems used by Singapore Airlines and American Airlines were recently discovered to have outward-facing cameras. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Two Major Airlines Admit to Undisclosed Cameras in Aircraft Entertainment Systems," 22 Feb. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Sides should slope outward, which aids in flipping. Eric Velasco, al, "How to make crepes at home," 26 Dec. 2019 Then, squeeze left glute and rotate left hip outward, lifting left knee toward ceiling. Mallory Creveling, Health.com, "The 5-Move Resistance Band Workout for a Strong Butt," 16 Dec. 2019 Coldplay has typically trained its talents on matters of the heart, but now the focus turns outward, to war and injustice. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Coldplay Would Like to Save the World With Vagueness," 26 Nov. 2019 Not that the impulse to look outward rather than inward isn’t laudable. Meghan Daum, New York Times, "New Memoirs Try to Get the Balance Right," 12 Jan. 2018 Apply a light red shade to the outer lid, blending outward. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "I Tried Spring 2019's Coolest Graphic Makeup Looks," 25 Nov. 2019 The foundation team was able to track the pair for 25 minutes; what mesmerized was not only the procreative union but the halo of filaments that radiated outward from the female’s body, shimmering with points of light. William J. Broad, New York Times, "The Creepy Anglerfish Comes to Light. (Just Don’t Get Too Close.)," 29 July 2019 The lines intersect at a point and radiate outward. Quanta Magazine, "A New Path to Equal-Angle Lines," 11 Apr. 2017 And Latin America’s outward-looking Pacific Alliance has expanded beyond its four founding members to welcome more than 50 observer nations. Shannon O'neil | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Free Trade Is Expanding, Just Not With the U.S.," 7 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Use an eyeliner brush to gently blend the liner outwards to help create a soft shadow effect just under your eye that follows the shape of your winged upper lid. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "I Tried Spring 2019's Coolest Graphic Makeup Looks," 25 Nov. 2019 This is when a star collapses under its own weight after using up its nuclear fuel—a process that results in a gigantic shock wave as the plummeting material piles up and rebounds outwards. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "A Missing Neutron Star May Have Been Found after 30-Year Hunt," 25 Nov. 2019 The Moon's mass, only 1/100th the mass of Earth, is strong enough to make the Pacific's water bulge outwards. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How Do Tides Work?," 25 Sep. 2019 The former move like a dynamite blast: faster than sound, and pushing a shockwave outward. Scientific American, "Budding Organs, Science on Blast(s), and Human-Robot Synchronicity: Science GIFs to Start Your Week," 4 Nov. 2019 And piano-key spines extend from the neck to the coccyx with the ribs flourishing outwards, but often without individual vertebrae, appearing just as a single wobbly line running down the back. Jack Hartnell, Time, "The Medieval History Behind Our Halloween Fascination With Skeletons," 30 Oct. 2019 Many cityscapes in central Europe follow the medieval German layout of a castle on a hill, with a lower town around a market square spreading outwards to a ring-road on the line of an old wall. The Economist, "Europe’s long vacation flight home," 29 Aug. 2019 Though most of the structure is perfectly plumb, the great columns at the center of the cathedral were built ever-so-slightly outwards, and the choir doesn't align exactly with the nave. Andrew Tallon, National Geographic, "Historian uses lasers to unlock mysteries of Gothic cathedrals," 16 Apr. 2019 Yet Muggah said that while overall there have been fewer incidents and deaths in recent years, terrorism is also spreading outwards. Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY, "Global terrorism is in decline. For victims, it doesn't feel like it," 6 July 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for outward

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for outward

Last Updated

25 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Outward.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outward. Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for outward


How to pronounce outward (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the way that someone or something looks or seems on the outside
: able to be seen
: moving or directed away from something


How to pronounce outward (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of outward (Entry 2 of 2)

: toward the outside of something : away from a center
: away from yourself


out·​ward | \ ˈau̇t-wərd How to pronounce outward (audio) \

Kids Definition of outward

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : moving or turned toward the outside or away from a center an outward flow
2 : showing on the outside Surely it must hurt her … But if it did she gave no outward sign.— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time


variants: or outwards \ ˈau̇t-​wərdz \

Kids Definition of outward (Entry 2 of 2)

: away from a center The city stretches outward for miles.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outward

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for outward

Spanish Central: Translation of outward

Nglish: Translation of outward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outward for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outward

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