out·​ward·​ly | \ ˈau̇t-wərd-lē How to pronounce outwardly (audio) \

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Because Hawkins seemed so outwardly vibrant, his death shocked the world. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 16 May 2022 For Antetokounmpo, there seems to be no nerves, no stress, and no frustration — at least outwardly — ahead of the winner-take-all contest. Katie Mcinerney, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 Al Horford has played in more than two dozen postseason series in a 15-year NBA career but rarely has outwardly shown much emotion during all those appearances. oregonlive, 9 May 2022 Wahl sensed a familiar pattern: an outwardly friendly posture from the administration but private efforts to shut down dissent. Megan K. Stack, The New Yorker, 28 Apr. 2022 Among past rivals for the speaker’s gavels, Scalise of Louisiana is no longer outwardly chasing McCarthy for the job, and has in fact become wrapped in the Jan. 6 fallout. Lisa Mascaro, Chicago Tribune, 27 Apr. 2022 While outwardly unimposing, his writings were dark. Anthony Venditti, CBS News, 21 Apr. 2022 Leader Kim Jong Un keeps building outwardly glamorous high-rise apartment buildings in the capital, Pyongyang, with the latest being an 80-story skyscraper completed this week. NBC News, 15 Apr. 2022 Featuring a cameo from Trump is only the latest outwardly political move by the 51-year-old musician. Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of outwardly

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

Learn More About outwardly

Time Traveler for outwardly

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near outwardly

outward looking



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for outwardly

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Outwardly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outwardly. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for outwardly


out·​ward·​ly | \ ˈau̇t-wərd-lē How to pronounce outwardly (audio) \

Kids Definition of outwardly

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Which Word Does Not Belong?

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!