out·​er ˈau̇-tər How to pronounce outer (audio)
: existing independent of mind : objective
outer reality
: situated farther out
the outer limits
: being away from a center
the planet's outer rings
: situated or belonging on the outside
an outer covering

Example Sentences

the outer edges of the roof The package's outer covering was damaged. I removed the outer skin of the onion. Her inner turmoil was masked by an outer calm.
Recent Examples on the Web The outer material is 100 percent wind and waterproof, also featuring reflective elements for visibility. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 19 Jan. 2023 For the eyes, Herr created a soft smokey eye with Lancôme Hypnôse 5-Color Eyeshadow Palette in Taupe Craze, using the lighter shades on the inner corners and blending darker shades into the creases and outer corners. Andrea Lavinthal, Peoplemag, 18 Jan. 2023 Her eyes darted toward the door as construction workers could be heard clomping up the outer stairs — men who would notice a woman living alone. Damien Cave, New York Times, 18 Jan. 2023 This makes relatively light planets slim down faster as rising heat strips away their outer gases, the thinking goes, whereas heavier planets have enough gravity to hold these gases and maintain their size. Daniel Leonard, Scientific American, 18 Jan. 2023 The outer worlds that humanity has targeted are incredibly hostile by comparison. Mrigakshi Dixit, Smithsonian Magazine, 18 Jan. 2023 The outer links are closer together, and the brancards framing the case are slightly bigger and set with diamonds. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 18 Jan. 2023 Two other bullet holes can be seen on the large aluminum duct on the southern outer walls of the shelter. San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Jan. 2023 For science fiction fans, this one has elements of both underwater and outer-space movies. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'outer.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English, from out entry 4 + -er entry 1

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of outer was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near outer

Cite this Entry

“Outer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outer. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


out·​er ˈau̇t-ər How to pronounce outer (audio)
: located on the outside or farther out
the outer wall
: being away from a center
the outer planets of the solar system

More from Merriam-Webster on outer

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