out·​ward·​ly ˈau̇t-wərd-lē How to pronounce outwardly (audio)
: on the outside : externally
: toward the outside
: 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 But Tokyo, officials there say, understands the election-year necessity of Biden’s opposition to the takeover and has remained outwardly placid. Jeanne Whalen, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 At first, Exxon was outwardly cool with sharing Stabroek. Melvin Backman, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 Things feel really harmonious and good, both inwardly and outwardly in the band right now. Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 2 Apr. 2024 Stumpy’s profile rose in 2020 during the pandemic when a Reddit user posted a photo of it, likening its outwardly limp condition to his love life. Emily Hung, NBC News, 23 Mar. 2024 They were never outwardly barred from approaching Ohtani himself. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 27 Mar. 2024 Prince William is outwardly keeping calm and carrying on with royal duties amid the controversy over the Mother's Day image shared by his wife, Kate Middleton. Simon Perry, Peoplemag, 14 Mar. 2024 For the first time since 2016, there is a new protagonist in American politics: not the man seeking to take back the White House as retribution but its current, outwardly placid occupant. Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2024 Israel Defense Forces/Reuters But Israeli officials, at least outwardly, are adamant that the launch of a large-scale operation is only a matter of time, and inevitable. Neri Zilber, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'outwardly.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near outwardly

Cite this Entry

“Outwardly.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outwardly. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


out·​ward·​ly ˈau̇t-wərd-lē How to pronounce outwardly (audio)
: on the outside : in outward appearance
outwardly calm
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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