Meaning of EXTERNAL in English

I. ek-ˈstər-n ə l adjective

Etymology: Latin externus external, from exter — more at exterior

Date: 1542


a. : capable of being perceived outwardly

external signs of a disease


(1) : having merely the outward appearance of something : superficial

(2) : not intrinsic or essential

external circumstances


a. : of, relating to, or connected with the outside or an outer part

the building's external features

b. : applied or applicable to the outside

a lotion for external use



(1) : situated outside, apart, or beyond ; specifically : situated near or toward the surface of the body

(2) : arising or acting from outside

an external force

b. : of or relating to dealings or relationships with foreign countries

c. : having existence independent of the mind

external reality

• ex·ter·nal·ly -n ə l-ē adverb

II. noun

Date: circa 1635

: something that is external: as

a. : an outer part

b. : an external feature or aspect — usually used in plural

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.