ex ‧ ter ‧ nal W2 AC /ɪkˈstɜːnl $ -ɜːr-/ BrE AmE adjective
[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ externally ≠ ↑ internally ; adjective : ↑ external ≠ ↑ internal ]
[ Word Family: adverb : ↑ internally ≠ ↑ externally ; adjective : ↑ internal ≠ ↑ external ]
[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: externus , from exter 'on the outside' , from ex 'out' ]
1 . OUTSIDE PART relating to the outside of something or of a person’s body OPP internal :
the external appearance of the building
For external use only (=written on medicines which must be put on your skin and not swallowed)
In everyday English, people usually say outside rather than external :
The outside walls of the building were painted yellow.
2 . EFFECT relating to your environment or situation, rather than to your own qualities, ideas etc SYN outside :
Low birth weight may be caused by external factors, such as smoking during pregnancy.
influences from the external environment
3 . ORGANIZATION coming from or happening outside a particular place or organization OPP internal :
information from external sources
4 . FOREIGN relating to foreign countries OPP internal :
China will not tolerate any external interference in its affairs.
the Minister of External Affairs
5 . INDEPENDENT British English coming from outside a particular school, university, or organization, and therefore independent OPP internal
external auditors (=someone from outside who looks at an organization’s finances)
—externally adverb :
The job should be advertised internally and externally.