out·​ward·​ly | \ˈau̇t-wərd-lē \

Definition of outwardly 

1a : on the outside : externally

b : toward the outside

2 : in outward state, behavior, or appearance was outwardly friendly

Examples of outwardly in a Sentence

The two brothers may be outwardly similar, but their personalities couldn't be more different. Though extremely nervous, she was able to remain outwardly calm during the interview. Outwardly, their marriage seemed quite normal.
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Recent Examples on the Web

These are moments of high drama that require real detective work, while most of the story that Leader has to tell is outwardly undramatic. Adam Kirsch, WSJ, "Watching the Lights Go Out," 8 Nov. 2018 Danielle, a genderfluid person, first began to outwardly identify as genderfluid at 22 years old. Elly Belle, Teen Vogue, "What Trying to Access Health Care is Like for Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming People," 24 Oct. 2018 One misconception Dianne Grossman says too many adults have: that only certain types of children are targets — i.e., ones who are outwardly different than what society deems normal. Jessica Press, Redbook, "Women Need to Know They Don't Have to Take Bullying in the Workplace," 19 Sep. 2018 Others said that even outwardly tolerant Trump supporters had endorsed exclusionary policies. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Roseanne Fantasy Is Over," 30 May 2018 The organization is at least outwardly encouraged by his returns at third base. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "One for the future: Evaluating Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle," 10 July 2018 Trump was relentless in his attacks on Flake -- and the incumbent's numbers collapsed, forcing him to choose an uphill primary fight against candidates more outwardly loyal to Trump or retirement. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Tuesday's results show the dangers of crossing Donald Trump," 13 June 2018 June cries to Serena, who doesn’t outwardly seem affected, calmly dismissing this as yet another of Eden’s sins. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 2 Finale Offers a Light in the Darkness," 11 July 2018 Although his dullish voice-overs attempt to establish him as a deep thinker and observer, Moss outwardly comes off as anything but: surly, cocky, needy, slackerish, immature. Gary Goldstein, latimes.com, "Review: Southern drama 'Moss' underwhelms, but it has great views," 5 July 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for outwardly

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for outwardly

The first known use of outwardly was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for outwardly



English Language Learners Definition of outwardly

: on the outside : in a way that can be seen


out·​ward·​ly | \ˈau̇t-wərd-lē \

Kids Definition of outwardly

: on the outside : in outward appearance Though nervous, he remained outwardly calm.

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More from Merriam-Webster on outwardly

Spanish Central: Translation of outwardly

Nglish: Translation of outwardly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of outwardly for Arabic Speakers

Comments on outwardly

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


to enclose within walls

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