outer

outer, outward, outside, external, exterior mean being or placed without something. Although in many cases interchangeable, they are more or less restricted in their applications and are therefore clearly distinguished in their implications.
Outer usually retains its comparative force, then applying to what is farther out from something described as inner
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the outer as distinguished from the inner court

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the outer layer of skin is called the epidermis

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or is farther than another thing from the center
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shed one's outer garments

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the outer covering of a butternut is removed before the nut is cracked

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Outer is also applicable to what is definitely without as opposed to what is definitely within something, but in this sense the term rarely suggests spatial relations; thus, the outer man is the man as known in the flesh and as distinguished from the inner man, that is, the man as he really is in mind and soul; one's outer life is the part which is observable to one's fellows; the outer world is the world as known directly through the senses.
Outward may be used of spatial relations; when it is so used it commonly implies motion or direction away from, .or the reverse of, what is inward
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given to outward display

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outward travel from New York City is very heavy over the weekends

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the outward curve of a convex lens

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Like outer, the term is sometimes used of what is manifest to others in contrast with what is within and especially with what is spiritual or mental
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all outward actions, every overt thing we do— Powys

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obstinate questionings of sense and outward things— Wordsworth

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give outward and objective form to ideas that bubble inwardly and have a fascinating lure in them— Mencken

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Outside usually implies a position on or a reference to the outer parts or surface of a thing
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an outside stateroom on a ship

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outside shutters

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the outside paint is looking shabby

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But outside, in extended use, applies especially to a person or thing that is beyond implied borders, bounds, or limits; thus, an outside influence is one not emanating from the particular society, group, or community in mind; the outside world is the world beyond the scope or interest (as of a family group, community, or set) or the confines of a place (as an institution, a town, city, or a state); an outside broker is one who is not a member of an exchange; outside work is work in the open air in contrast with inside work under cover (as in an office, factory, or store)
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if it had condemned, Old Chester would not have cared in the very least. It looked down upon the outside world— Deland

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External and exterior are often used interchangeably without loss, for both come close in meaning to outside
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external appearance of an object

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the exterior form of a body

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But external may be preferred when location or situation beyond or away from the thing under consideration is implied
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our desires and wills are directed to some object external to us— Alexander

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the slavery which would be imposed upon her by her external enemies and her internal traitors— Roosevelt

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and exterior is often preferred when location or situation on the surface or on the outer limits of a thing is implied
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the exterior slope of a fortification

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the exterior parts of the human body

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thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie thy Soul's immensity— Wordsworth

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In addition, external sometimes comes close to superficial in implying mere appearance or semblance that has no relation or little relation to what the thing really is
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but under this external appearance of ease she was covered with cold beads of sweat— Wharton

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beauty that is purely external

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and exterior may, like outer and outward, apply to what shows or is made apparent
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the exterior cold had stolen into the cars, forming lenses of ice on the inside surface of the windowpanes— Capote

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the absence of exterior demonstration of affection for my mother— Wecter

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Analogous words: *extrinsic, extraneous, foreign, alien
Antonyms: inner
Contrasted words: inward, inside, internal, interior, intestine (see INNER)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Outer — Out er (out [ e]r), a. [Compar. of {Out}.] [AS. [=u]tor, compar. of [=u]t, adv., out. See {Out}, {Utter}, a.] Being on the outside; external; farthest or farther from the interior, from a given station, or from any space or position regarded as a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Outer — Outer …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Outer — Out er, n. (a) The part of a target which is beyond the circles surrounding the bull s eye. (b) A shot which strikes the outer of a target. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • outer — late 14c., comparative of out (on analogy of inner), replacing by 18c. forms descended from O.E. uttera (comp. of O.E. ut out ) which developed into utter and was no longer felt as connected with out. Outer space first attested 1901 in writings… …   Etymology dictionary

  • outer — [out′ər] adj. [ME outter; new form < out + er, replacing uttere,UTTER1] 1. located farther without; exterior; external 2. relatively far out or far removed [the outer regions] …   English World dictionary

  • Outer — Out er, n. [From {Out}, v.] One who puts out, ousts, or expels; also, an ouster; dispossession. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • outer — index peripheral Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • outer — [adj] external, exposed alien, beyond, exoteric, exterior, extraneous, extrinsic, outermost, outlying, outmost, outside, outward, over, peripheral, remote, superficial, surface, without; concepts 484,583 Ant. central, inner, interior …   New thesaurus

  • outer — ► ADJECTIVE 1) outside; external. 2) further from the centre or the inside. ► NOUN Brit. ▪ the division of a target furthest from the bullseye …   English terms dictionary

  • outer — adj. & n. adj. 1 outside; external (pierced the outer layer). 2 farther from the centre or inside; relatively far out. 3 objective or physical, not subjective or psychical. n. 1 a the division of a target furthest from the bull s eye. b a shot… …   Useful english dictionary

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