Definition of extern in English:



  • 1North American A non-resident doctor or other worker in a hospital.

    • ‘In terms of skills, externs often function in a role similar to that of a nursing assistant.’
    • ‘For the student nurse in the extern role, this translates to practicing in the perioperative setting the critical-thinking, interpersonal, and technical skills learned in school.’
    • ‘This early socialization process is important because it recognizes that the nurse extern is a team member and provides a sense of permanence.’
    • ‘Nurse externs work under the direct supervision of preceptors in a variety of settings.’
    • ‘Collaboration between the extern or intern, clinical educator, and preceptor is extremely important if the student is to successfully achieve the goals.’
    • ‘The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards that pertain to the extern role are presented in class.’
    • ‘I worked at the hospital with three more externs, shifting to a new section of the hospital each quarter.’
    • ‘Three weeks before the scheduled event, residents and externs are required to begin their search for a scientific article that answers clinical questions or raises innovative ideas.’
    • ‘There would also be controls on recruitment and tightening up of costs in relation to waste management, charged services and extern costs.’
    • ‘Evaluations of the program from preceptors, interns, and externs demonstrate that the program has provided an excellent foundation of knowledge on which to build.’
    1. 1.1A student participating in a temporary training programme in a workplace.
      ‘she worked as a judicial extern for two US federal judges’
      • ‘If you were an extern at the French Laundry, your first job would most likely be peeling carrots.’
      • ‘Each semester Justice Clark had three to five law students working for him as externs.’
      • ‘Sponsors and students should jointly determine the extern's role in his/her experience as well as the length of the externship.’
      • ‘During that time, I took a break to serve as an extern on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.’
      • ‘This university program does not create an employment relationship between the extern and the sponsor.’
      • ‘She has already resumed her rigorous stollen-baking schedule, a regimen into which she was indoctrinated as an overworked extern at Bouley.’
      • ‘What I and the two other externs didn't know was that each kitchen recruited and ‘bid’ for a particular extern.’
      • ‘Opportunities for doing the skills lead the externs to higher levels of competency.’
      • ‘Each year up to six students will be chosen to work as paid summer externs.’
      • ‘She worked as a judicial extern for two US federal judges as well as a trainee at the European Commission's Legal Service.’
  • 2(in a strictly enclosed order of nuns) a sister who does not live exclusively within the enclosure and goes on outside errands.

    • ‘In the miniature society of the cloister, numbering between ten and eleven sisters and an extern or two, her success meets some of the same responses a successful worldly artist would find.’
    • ‘The two other externs, whose duties often prevented them from having time for silent meditation, had also chosen to remain.’
    • ‘These three sisters are the externs at the convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra where Sister Lucia lived for 57 years.’


  • Banish (someone considered politically undesirable) from a region or district.

    ‘he was externed for inciting communal tension in the city’
    • ‘Probably externed from his native Tirunelveli district, he moved to Chennai with his wife and two young sons.’
    • ‘He got bail in 2001 and lived in Surat for six months after being externed from Thane district by the court.’
    • ‘The chief instigators of communal riots in Kodgu, Jagdish Karanth, Pramod Muthalik, Bopayya, Devayya, Somesh and Sunil Subramani must be immediately arrested and externed.’


Mid 16th century (as an adjective in the sense ‘external’): from French externe or Latin externus, from exter outer. The word was used by Shakespeare to mean ‘outward appearance’; current noun senses date from the early 17th century.