Meaning of EXTERNAL in English

I. (ˈ)ek|stərn ə l, ikˈs-, -tə̄n-, -təin- adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin externus (from exter, exterus outward, on the outside) + Middle English -al — more at exterior



(1) : of, relating to, or consisting in outward form, appearance, or action

the external aspect of religion

(2) : capable of being perceived outwardly : bodily , physical , visible

external signs of a disease


(1) : merely outward and lacking in or totally devoid of inner nature, spirit, or motivation : having the appearance of something with little or none of the reality : superficial

her gaiety was of a conventional external kind — J.C.Powys

(2) : not intrinsic or essential : accidental

external circumstances

external factors affecting their decision



(1) : of, relating to, or connected with the outside or an outer part

the external features of the building are very attractive

(2) : situated at, on, or near the outside

an external protective covering

an external muscle


(1) : acting on or exerted upon the outside

sunbaths and other external treatments

the box collapsed after prolonged external pressure

(2) : directed toward the outside

external perception

: having an outside object

eyesight and the other external senses

c. : used by applying to the outside

an external lotion



(1) : of, relating to, or connected with something outside, apart, or beyond

external evidence

the club's external activities

(2) : situated outside, apart, or beyond

people almost always want something external to themselves — Samuel Butler †1902

specifically : situated away from the mesial plane

the external condyle of the humerus

(3) : arising or acting from outside : having an outside origin

external force

external causes

external stimuli

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

external policies

external commerce

the external exchange position of the dollar

external affairs

c. : of, relating to, or consisting of something outside the mind : having existence independent of the mind : belonging to the spatio-temporal world

sensations aroused by external phenomena

external reality

man's efforts to understand the workings of the external world — James Jeans

Synonyms: see outer

II. noun

( -s )

1. : something that is external: as

a. archaic : an outer part : outside , exterior

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

the externals of religion

2. : a house organ designed for circulation among outsiders (as dealers, customers, stockholders)

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.