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
4 : external


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

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Billy sought out books and people who could provide philosophical perspective, while Angela was spurred to a focussed dynamism, an outward-facing construction of her son’s legacy. Andrew Solomon, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Most professionals consider networking an outward-facing activity. Kara Dennison, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 The low, wide display screen doesn’t impinge on outward visibility, while a lean dash sits above parallel floorboard lighting and clear, crystal pedals. Karl Brauer, Forbes, 20 Apr. 2022 The front seats, which were covered in a two-tone gray cloth upholstery in our XLT test vehicle, were comfortable, and the upright driving position and wide-open outward visibility are appreciated. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, 28 Mar. 2022 Unsure of how to reconcile his inner self with the outward appearance people judged him by, Miele was determined to let his work define him instead. Isabella Cueto, STAT, 28 Mar. 2022 The anti-ritualism of the modern mind suspects that there always is a dichotomy between the outward appearance and the inward reality. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 9 Mar. 2022 For one, the researchers suggest it’s not enough to look at how often people experience happiness internally, but that outward expressions of happiness are important as well. Mark Travers, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 An animal may carry the disease for years without outward signs. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, 7 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb So instead of being on the outside looking in, this story takes place more from the inside looking outward, and that was a fun opportunity for me. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 May 2022 This is a cockpit for looking inward rather than outward. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 13 Apr. 2022 Neatly stack them or place them in containers with the labels turned outward. Washington Post, 17 Aug. 2020 Its inventory consisted entirely of titles that received four or more stars on the Amazon website; rather than shelve books sideways, most aisles featured outward-facing book covers. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 17 Mar. 2022 The 7,800-square-foot Tigard store stocked a relatively small selection of bestsellers, all facing outward as though shoppers were browsing Amazon’s website. oregonlive, 2 Mar. 2022 The big wall facing outward will be given over to a new artist every two months, starting with the painter Jimmy Sheehan. Vogue, 26 Jan. 2022 With your legs at a 90-degree angle or a tabletop position, inhale and press the heels together and open the legs so that the knees point outward as wide as your shoulders — kind of like how a frog looks. Stephanie Mansour, CNN, 23 Sep. 2020 But while the hotel’s location practically begs guests to look outward, there is plenty to invite their gaze inward as well. Michaela Trimble, Condé Nast Traveler, 31 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Across sectors, CIOs have spent the past two years creating digital storefronts and offices via online shopping tools, mobile ordering and pickup apps, videoconferencing and collaboration systems, and other outward-facing platforms. Angus Loten, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2022 Eventually the electrons provide enough of an outward-pressing force to halt the star's collapse. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 Apr. 2022 Coronal mass ejections are expulsions of plasma and magnetic field from the sun's corona, sending tons of coronal material outward at speeds ranging from 250 kilometers per second to as fast as near 3,000 km/s. Miriam Marini, Detroit Free Press, 29 Mar. 2022 Some destinations currently require masks for inward and outward bound flights -- such as the US, where the mask mandate is set to be in place until at least April 18. Francesca Street, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 For example, Houston is known for expanding outward. Emily Hamilton, The Conversation, 28 Feb. 2022 My field of vision went around both ends and outward. John Mcphee, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Dark matter is proving to be a rather frustrating topic for physicists, cosmologists, and other outward-looking scientists. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, 17 Jan. 2022 So says Bitate, an 18-year-old Uru-eu-wau-wau chosen by his elders to lead the community’s outward-facing Jupau Association — responsibility for defending their land from opposing forces thus coming to rest on his slender shoulders. Guy Lodge, Variety, 22 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Outward.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outward. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for outward


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on outward

Nglish: Translation of outward for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outward for Arabic Speakers


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