What does external mean?

Definitions for external
ɪkˈstɜr nlex·ter·nal

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word external.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. externaladjective

    outward features

    "he enjoyed the solemn externals of religion"

  2. externaladjective

    happening or arising or located outside or beyond some limits or especially surface

    "the external auditory canal"; "external pressures"

  3. external, extraneous, outsideadjective

    coming from the outside

    "extraneous light in the camera spoiled the photograph"; "relying upon an extraneous income"; "disdaining outside pressure groups"

  4. external, international, outside(a)adjective

    from or between other countries

    "external commerce"; "international trade"; "developing nations need outside help"

  5. externaladjective

    purely outward or superficial

    "external composure"; "an external concern for reputation"- A.R.Gurney,Jr.


  1. externaladjective

    outside of something

  2. Etymology: From externus, from exter, exterus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. EXTERNALadjective

    Etymology: externus, Latin.

    We come to be assured that there is such a being, either by an internal impression of the notion of a God upon our minds, or else by such external and visible effects as our reason tells us must be attributed to some cause, and which we cannot attribute to any other but such as we conceive God to be. John Tillotson.

    These shells being thus exposed loose upon the surface of the earth to the injuries of weather, to be trod upon by horses and other cattle, and to many other external accidents, are, in tract of time, worn, fretted, and broken to pieces. John Woodward, Natural History.

    Adam was then no less glorious in his externals: he had a beautiful body as well as an immortal soul. Robert South, Sermons.

    He that commits only the external act of idolatry is as guilty as he that commits the external act of theft. Edward Stillingfleet.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Externaladjective

    outward; exterior; relating to the outside, as of a body; being without; acting from without; -- opposed to internal; as, the external form or surface of a body

  2. Externaladjective

    outside of or separate from ourselves; (Metaph.) separate from the perceiving mind

  3. Externaladjective

    outwardly perceptible; visible; physical or corporeal, as distinguished from mental or moral

  4. Externaladjective

    not intrinsic nor essential; accidental; accompanying; superficial

  5. Externaladjective

    foreign; relating to or connected with foreign nations; as, external trade or commerce; the external relations of a state or kingdom

  6. Externaladjective

    away from the mesial plane of the body; lateral

  7. Externalnoun

    something external or without; outward part; that which makes a show, rather than that which is intrinsic; visible form; -- usually in the plural

  8. Etymology: [L. externus, fr. exter, exterus, on the outside, outward. See Exterior.]


  1. External

    The term external is useful for describing certain algebraic structures. The term comes from the concept of an external binary operation which is a binary operation that draws from some external set. To be more specific, a left external binary operation on S over R is a function and a right external binary operation on S over R is a function where S is the set the operation is defined on, and R is the external set.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. External

    eks-tėr′nal, adj. exterior: lying outside: outward: belonging to the world of outward things: that may be seen: not innate or intrinsic: accidental: foreign.—n. exterior: (pl.) the outward parts: outward or non-essential forms and ceremonies.—n. Extē′rior, an exterior thing, the outside.—adj. Extern′, external, outward.—n. a day-scholar.—n. Externalisā′tion.—v.t. Exter′nalise, to give form to.—ns. Exter′nalism, undue regard to mere externals or non-essential outward forms, esp. of religion; External′ity, external character: superficiality: undue regard to externals.—adv. Exter′nally.—n. Exter′nat, a day-school. [L. externusexter.]


  1. External

    belonging to or on the outside.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'external' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2057

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'external' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4372

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'external' in Adjectives Frequency: #275

How to pronounce external?

How to say external in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of external in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of external in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of external in a Sentence

  1. Aldous Huxley:

    When one's ill or unhappy, one needs something outside oneself to hold one up. It is a good thing, I think, when one has been knocked out of one's balance . to have some external job or duty to hang on to.

  2. Ellen Williams:

    You can certainly see it in forward operations where they are moving their troops out into a place where they don’t have ready access to an electric power system, as a military base, they need emergency preparedness so that if there is a hurricane or if there is a terrorist event anything that might disrupt the external electric power grid, they need to be able to keep their operations going. For them to have a microgrid with their own storage and their own battery system is really important.

  3. Callan Jansen of Washington state:

    It's just really hard to feel like the work I'm doing is real or important when the expectations are so vague, external motivators are really helpful for me, and right now it feels like I need to rely almost entirely on internal motivation, which can be really hit or miss.

  4. Matthew Henman:

    High profile, mass casualty attacks are a tried and tested method of changing the narrative and deflecting attention away from the problems it is facing, this is done for internal consumption just as much as external.

  5. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker:

    That has nothing to do with protection of external borders. Restoring borders between two Schengen countries will destroy the common market.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for external

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    the state of being polluted
    • A. congius
    • B. couvade
    • C. defilement
    • D. flunkey

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