Definition of internal in English:



  • 1Of or situated on the inside.

    ‘the tube had an internal diameter of 1.1 mm’
    • ‘More smoke sensors will be installed and internal walls will be extended upwards into the roof void to create compartments to help to contain the spread of any future fire.’
    • ‘The boiler exploded with such force that it blew one door of the basement 50 ft away and demolished two internal walls.’
    • ‘The real challenge is to find room for these added functions in kitchens that, despite side extensions and the removal of internal walls, are still smaller than most of us would like.’
    • ‘There was some damage to an internal wall, but we are optimistic that our office should not have to be demolished.’
    • ‘They include demolishing internal walls to expand into the three units along Manor Lane, which the shop owns, and display windows will be fitted.’
    • ‘This is over half a mile away and consists of one cubicle with an internal diameter of less than one metre.’
    • ‘The semi-detached bungalow's roof was blown off, the front windows were blown out and the main gable wall and internal rear wall were both blown down.’
    • ‘The internal wall remains missing from my office.’
    • ‘Anecdotally, I have also been informed by neighbours that the internal walls in these houses are non-supporting.’
    • ‘Again the door was blasted open; the internal walls were destroyed, and all the diagnostic equipment was smashed and on the floor.’
    • ‘Although the internal walls are laid out to provide 14 bedrooms, all en-suite, they would be easy to rearrange into one big family house.’
    • ‘The external and internal dividing walls are the only substantial structural elements remaining in the fire damaged section of the building.’
    • ‘The 46-year-old was lucky to be alive after the explosion last Friday, which blew away the back door and shattered internal walls.’
    • ‘He has emptied the pub and knocked down old internal walls.’
    • ‘The architect's report points to a number of places where rain water has come through the walls and damaged the internal decoration.’
    • ‘The ratio of the balloon external diameter to vessel wall internal diameter was 1.5-1.6.’
    • ‘The external and internal dividing walls were the only substantial structural elements remaining in the fire-damaged section of the building.’
    • ‘These walls have no internal air gaps, no space to add insulation and so transmit heat very readily.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the bare, internal glass walls would have looked better with some kind of covering, however small, on them.’
    • ‘Macerata was built on a hill with fortress-like walls and internal streets as confusing as a labyrinth, and today it still has many of those outer walls intact.’
    inner, interior, inside, intramural
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    1. 1.1 Inside the body.
      ‘internal bleeding’
      • ‘This causes pain and can damage the body's internal organs.’
      • ‘People who are aware of their internal body state apparently experience more anxiety and other negative emotions in daily life.’
      • ‘Robert Hooke realized the value of auscultation and stated that it may be possible to discover the motions of the internal parts of bodies by the sound they make.’
      • ‘When large bones, such as the pelvis or femur are fractured, there will be internal bleeding from the bone and this can cause similar symptoms.’
      • ‘He published an atlas showing the exact position of the internal organs of the body and their relations.’
      • ‘This muscle thickens near the urethra to form the internal and external sphincters.’
      • ‘Typically, the patient presents with the arm held close to the body in abduction and internal rotation.’
      • ‘It took firefighters an hour to cut her free from the wreckage in which she broke her neck and her leg, crushed her pelvis and suffered massive internal injuries including brain-stem damage.’
      • ‘Blood vessels near the surface of the skin constrict to preserve internal body heat, reducing blood flow to the skin.’
      • ‘In some types the internal linings of the body can be affected, as well as the cornea of the eye.’
      • ‘Small venous branches from the internal mammary vein were clipped and divided.’
      • ‘He or she separates the lining of the distal anal canal from the underlying internal sphincter muscle.’
      • ‘The cushions are suspended in the canal by a connective tissue framework derived from the internal anal sphincter and longitudinal muscle.’
      • ‘These responses can occur when materials containing latex come into contact with the skin, mucous membranes, or internal tissues.’
      • ‘Coma occurs when the internal body temperature falls below 77° F.’
      • ‘It holds in body heat and cushions your internal organs against injury.’
      • ‘A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or small intestine. Left untreated, a peptic ulcer can cause internal bleeding.’
      • ‘This allows exposure of the entire length of the superior compartment of the internal auditory canal without injury to the cochlear and vestibular labyrinth.’
      • ‘Both use light to magnify and view the internal structures of the body.’
      • ‘However, patients who have major duct injury may require internal drainage or pancreatic resection.’
      inside, inner
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    2. 1.2 Existing or occurring within an organization.
      ‘an internal telephone system’
      • ‘But the reports emphasized the internal split within the organization on how to handle this volatile talent.’
      • ‘A six-station internal telephone system is linked via the operator's console to the external communications system.’
      • ‘Nigel took charge of the cigarette while Pru used the ground-floor extension of the internal telephone system.’
      • ‘Unless the IT infrastructure is truly unique, why is any organization still struggling with internal IT delivery?’
      • ‘Employees may search the organization's internal databases for electronic documents to help them complete their tasks.’
      • ‘Some companies will employ similar methods on their existing employees for internal recruitment, training and development.’
      • ‘Organizations that function as internal labor markets possess market power, usually because of the desirability of their jobs or the level of their wages.’
      • ‘Operational perceived benefits are defined as the operational savings due to the improved internal efficiency of the organization.’
      • ‘Capabilities are less tangible and result from the organization of resources, internal systems, and skills.’
      • ‘He said that other police officers called him from public phones in the building because they did not trust the internal telephone system.’
      • ‘It is best suited to businesses that need the special capabilities of an internal digital telephone system.’
      • ‘They appeal only to an internal audience: the organization's employees, in particular its managers.’
      • ‘The report revealed cases of bullying and intimidation of members, who also felt they could achieve little remedy through the existing internal complaints system.’
      • ‘The unique building was the first in Scotland to have a private internal telephone system.’
      • ‘One of the more intractable outsourcing relationships is when one organization manages another's internal systems.’
      • ‘But at least it would not be within internal management of the system.’
      • ‘It will also examine the audit system and other internal controls within the bank.’
      • ‘Partitioning is also a great way of separating processes for different customers, either external organizations or internal departments.’
      • ‘One suggestion already implemented was adding a subject line to the organization's internal messaging system.’
      • ‘My estimation of him grew when we became involved in trying to make internal changes in our organization, some of which were focused on the treatment of people of color.’
      domestic, home, interior, civil, local
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    3. 1.3 Relating to affairs and activities within a country rather than with other countries; domestic.
      ‘internal flights’
      • ‘He proposes legislation and a budget, executes the laws, and guides the foreign and internal policies of the republic.’
      • ‘For the first time, the European Union has interfered directly in the internal policy of a member country.’
      • ‘The fact remains that brute force is boastfully invoked alike in the internal affairs and foreign policies of the totalitarian state.’
      • ‘But since then, legislation and changes in internal policies have made information sharing much easier.’
      • ‘In a sense, the European Union has no internal policies.’
      • ‘Britain should seek to recover control over all those aspects of domestic policy which do not directly impact on the internal affairs of another member state.’
      • ‘We must also develop our own internal domestic violence policies so we can do more to assist the women who may become battered while they work for us.’
      • ‘The Chinese government then condemned the Nobel Committee for interfering in its internal affairs.’
      • ‘How do we draft a clause that says intervention is allowed if almost the entire world is outraged by the internal policies of a country, but not if it is just a private quarrel between one country and another?’
      • ‘Previously, the sovereignty norm codified in the UN Charter has operated to prevent intervention in the internal affairs of sovereign states.’
      • ‘Interference in the internal affairs of these nations now extends to demands of educational reform, and insistence on ‘democratisation’.’
      • ‘No one seems to think that the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations vests a power in Congress to regulate the internal affairs of other nations.’
      • ‘What I do think is that the US gov. is viciously exploiting this event as an excuse to carry out all sorts of sketchy activity, both in its internal and foreign policies.’
      • ‘Decolonization was nearly complete so most insurgencies were internal struggles rather than wars of national liberation.’
      • ‘An NGO must respect the norm of non-interference in the internal affairs of states.’
      • ‘Portugal led the small nations' campaign to present the sanctions as an unwarranted interference in a country's internal affairs.’
      • ‘UN agencies have to balance universal human rights with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states.’
      • ‘And second, it's probably not good to intervene in the internal affairs of a nation that is looking for a worthy path of development.’
      • ‘He just takes it for granted that a liberal internal polity shapes external policy.’
      • ‘China can no longer argue that currency policy is an internal affair’
      domestic, local, national, interior, native
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    4. 1.4 Experienced in one's mind; inner rather than expressed.
      ‘internal feelings’
      • ‘Overclocking my brain, so that a mass of thoughts could present themselves on the internal television where my mind decides what to do.’
      • ‘This is where I personally so often experience an internal tension.’
      • ‘Open as they were, they offered a window to Chris' internal state of mind, and the despair and fear and misery she saw in them made her feel physically sick.’
      • ‘It could be just one man's internal torment and trying to express that.’
      • ‘Many times we refuse to make that internal change in our minds.’
      • ‘The internal sense mind is that which knows all objects.’
      • ‘The nature of transformation I have in mind is both internal and external.’
      • ‘Not only is it very soothing to the face and forehead, but it also clears the mind of all extraneous internal chatter.’
      • ‘Our observation may be employed either about external sensible objects, or about the internal operations of our minds.’
      • ‘The sources of behavior are external (in the environment), not internal (in the mind).’
      • ‘Her best friend and she had their first fight, only making Hannah's internal state of mind even more convoluted.’
      • ‘But the most important thing really is to quiet your internal dialogue and experience the stillness that's in you.’
      • ‘You organize with difficulty and you find yourself experiencing a lot of internal conflicts in your learning and life patterns.’
      • ‘It's times when I feel myself really start to get down that I know I need to read a book and get my mind off the internal conflict.’
      • ‘And anger, craving, jealousy, despair can create internal formations in our mind.’
      • ‘Keep in mind that standards are internal; they are not something that you can or should push on to someone else.’
      • ‘But eventually even that fell apart under the withering internal gaze of my mind's eye.’
      • ‘The source of ideas is experience, the observation of external objects or of the internal operations of the mind, i.e. sensation or reflection.’
      • ‘Yet, he expresses more internal torment with a few grunts and a couple of tobacco spits than most actors can with 10 pages of dialogue.’
      • ‘No matter how seemingly placid the surface response, those who fail to obtain the position will experience some internal distress.’
      mental, psychological, emotional
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    5. 1.5 Of the inner nature of a thing; intrinsic.
      ‘the party suffered from grave internal weaknesses’
      • ‘For Smith, then, nature becomes internal to capitalism in such a way that the very distinction implied by using these terms is eroded and undermined.’
      • ‘The skeptics call attention to certain self-imposed limitations internal to rights discourse stemming from its embrace of the public private distinction.’
      • ‘Here you have it neat and vibrantly loud - and confected from concepts internal to the celluloid world.’
      • ‘As it is, the photographic apparatus is always external to the image, though certainly internal to her life.’
      • ‘A career in advertising can be pursued with good conscience when the good internal to the practice of advertising is creating these positive exchanges.’
      • ‘Nothing internal to the republican movement has shifted; there has been no reassessment of its ideology, let alone any critical rethinking of its history.’
      • ‘Some works are so broad in scope, so inclusive, even of contradictions internal to themselves, that they can be used to justify almost anything.’
      • ‘And is contextual information lost in remapping the images to another system of categories that might be internal to the organization?’
      • ‘The major difference is that in Shakespeare the symbolic opposition between the world of sober morality and that of holiday freedom is normally made internal to the play.’
      • ‘Disciplinary actions are internal to the police force and it is often difficult for the judiciary, but also for civil society, to monitor their implementation.’
      • ‘They embody movement and the movement seems to be as much internal to the landscape as in the animals.’
      • ‘There is no sense of the government on one side and on the other an opposition which is internal to the EU's structures but external to its governing powers.’
      • ‘The premises of multiculturalism don't even permit asking whether reasons internal to the groups themselves might account for differences in outcomes.’
      • ‘This is merely a dramatic illustration of a generalised conflict internal to Islam.’
      • ‘Not being here was internal to his impotence, if that makes sense, not that it would have made the slightest practical difference whether he were here or not.’
      • ‘Other reasons for hope are internal to societies where severe repression and violence reign.’
      • ‘For at the core of mastery internal to ethics is always the power to decide who dies and who does not.’
      • ‘Consequently, truth and knowledge are not just internal to regimes of truth, but relate to the world beyond and must be judged accordingly.’
      • ‘In natural beauty, the beauty is external to the thought; in art the beauty is internal to the work.’
      • ‘If obligations really were internal to promising then the obligation to keep a promise would have to derive from the institution of promising.’
  • 2British (of a student) attending a university as well as taking its examinations.

    • ‘Staff on the Bicultural Committee can begin to implement this strategy for future intakes of internal students.’

plural noun

  • Inner parts or features.

    ‘all the weapon's internals are well finished and highly polished’
    • ‘Entry to the internals is via the two side panels and the top panel.’
    • ‘I'll be interested to see the analysis of the poll's internals.’
    • ‘The internals of the operating system are just completely different now.’
    • ‘The beginner, before investigating microwave internals would be well advised to unplug from the mains and submerge the appliance in the bath to ensure they don't find any nasty surprises.’
    • ‘This completely replaces the rebound internals of your fork.’
    • ‘A screw blower looks similar to a Roots from the outside, but the internals are completely different.’
    • ‘And meanwhile the stock market internals continue to look good.’
    • ‘I have ideas for exhibits showing the internals of a PC hard disk where the platters are visible and a CD ROM taken apart enabling people to see how they work.’
    • ‘Removing the windowed side panel allows me to view the internals, glaringly absent is a removable motherboard tray.’
    • ‘And the internals on those numbers tell an interesting tale.’
    • ‘And what do the internals of set-top boxes matter, anyway?’
    • ‘Never mind the internals, I still have about two pairs of pants that I can't wear.’
    • ‘Oh look, I'm not going to go into the internals of all of that.’
    • ‘Their parts can be used to rebuild the internals of the original rifles, and their barrels can be fitted to original actions.’
    • ‘The poll's internals aren't disclosed, but here is the key fact.’
    • ‘But for the moment at least none of that is showing up in the polls - at least not the top-lines; I haven't seen any internals.’
    • ‘Good quality unpainted aluminum is used right throughout the case internals, which include the back part.’
    • ‘The device has also had its internals souped up and now features a 400MHz processor and 128Mb of memory.’
    • ‘In the following sections, we describe the internals of AEM in detail.’
    • ‘Based around the 99 Pro Lever the internals no longer have the dial to adjust the pad spacing either side of the disc.’


Early 16th century (in the sense ‘intrinsic’): from modern Latin internalis, from Latin internus ‘inward, internal’.