Definition of outer in English:



  • 1attributive Outside; external.

    ‘the outer layer of the skin’
    ‘the outer door’
    • ‘In the next few weeks the roof, outer cladding and external works will be added.’
    • ‘Here, there would be such a huge number of electrons and positrons created that the radiation would be trapped, except for a thin layer at the outer edge of the gas.’
    • ‘This allows small ‘pouches’ of the inner layers to be forced outwards through the outer layer.’
    • ‘As they clattered into the street outside I heard voices of slaves, and the outer door creaking open.’
    • ‘The ear of a mammal is divided into three regions: the external or outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.’
    • ‘Using a potato peeler, remove any harder outer layers (larger stalks need thorough paring down; thinner stalks don't need much at all).’
    • ‘She came to a stop outside the outer door to the king's privy chamber, swallowing hard.’
    • ‘As red giants age, they eventually cast off the outer layers of their surfaces.’
    • ‘Their downslope change in symmetry suggests that a thin outer layer of competent salt buckled.’
    • ‘The results may look simple, but the shape has in fact been gently molded to flatter, and the edges sheared and overlapped to offer glimpses of the neck and brow through the outer layers.’
    • ‘I knocked on the outer door of the porch - no answer.’
    • ‘And while this reconstructs the outer skin layer, it does not reconstruct the pigments and pores in the skin.’
    • ‘The retinal pigment epithelium, which is the outer layer of the retina, fails to carry out its function as a result of which there is accumulation of the breakdown products.’
    • ‘Made of what is called cortical bone, the outer shell is remarkably thin.’
    • ‘There is evidence that beneath a thick outer layer of ice the moon is covered in liquid or slushy water.’
    • ‘Be sure the outer layer of clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind - resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind.’
    • ‘Skinflint walkers can walk on by the gatehouse and follow the deep ditch that runs outside the high outer curtain of 14 th-century walls.’
    • ‘The outer edges are white, barred with black, with a dark center.’
    • ‘He also admits he might be running out of countries since his brand of humour touches only ‘a very superficial outer layer’ of each place.’
    • ‘Collectively, these observations suggest that the thin outer layer is a primary feature of the sclerite wall.’
    outside, outermost, outward, exterior, external, surface, superficial
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    1. 1.1 Further from the centre or inside.
      ‘the outer city bypass’
      • ‘Have any of them lived in the rural areas or the outer suburbs?’
      • ‘Without hesitation, she climbs out and makes her way out into the outer trench right outside.’
      • ‘‘There's no comparison between Manchester city centre and the outer areas and it would help everybody in the area,’ he added.’
      • ‘The biggest project, however, was the preliminary work on the second river crossing, the city bypass and the outer ring road.’
      • ‘It is outside the outer ring road of Shanghai, which is very far from the city.’
      • ‘Flower buds formed quickly and now two have bloomed with pink outer petals and white centres contrasting well, if accidentally, with the dark red stems of the dogwood.’
      • ‘In the last seven years, more than 80,000 households have been relocated from city centre to outer areas.’
      • ‘Scott and Fran left the main castle and they walked around the village inside the outer castle walls.’
      • ‘People in today's outer suburbs love their homes and enjoy their lives.’
      • ‘The key to it is to develop a new outer breakwater in our harbour.’
      • ‘In a leaflet sent to every York household, people have backed site A, which is located inside the outer ring road behind the Civil Service sports ground.’
      • ‘There are two heavy guns on the outer wall that are just inside the outer mouth of the port.’
      • ‘The 28-year-old heroin drug addict is banned from the city centre and from begging inside the outer ring road for five years.’
      • ‘The site was chosen on the assurance of a motorable road to connect the centre with the outer ring road.’
      • ‘Andrew stood on the edge of the ruins that marked the outer boundaries of the city centre.’
      • ‘Charles' district in the outer suburbs of Melbourne is considered a bellwether seat.’
      • ‘Elsewhere, motorists using the A64 in both directions found difficult conditions, and extra-long queues developed at busy parts of the city's outer ring road.’
      • ‘He also expressed confidence that further improvements to the city's infrastructure would be witnessed with the commencement of the city bypass and outer ring road.’
      • ‘Surely it makes sense to develop that and allow a phased switch from the city centre to an outer Dublin location.’
      • ‘Aluminium pans should be fairly thick to allow the heat to travel from the centre to the outer rim; cheap, thin pans burn food easily.’
    2. 1.2 (especially in place names) more remote.
      ‘Outer Mongolia’
      • ‘It sounds more like the quality of life in a struggling inner-city area than a leafy outer London suburb like Bexley.’
      • ‘He spent his childhood and teenage years in the suburbs of outer London, already marginalised, already looking in at the centre from the edges.’
      outlying, distant, remote, faraway, furthest, peripheral, fringe, border, marginal, suburban, perimeter
      View synonyms
  • 2attributive Objective or physical; not subjective.

    • ‘Inner and outer beauty makes a perfect photographic subject.’
    • ‘Many patients buried their emotions, utterly helpless and dependent as they were, for the sake of peace, maintaining an outer stoicism they did not feel.’
    • ‘When we are attuned in this way, the inner and the outer coincide.’
    • ‘The outer landscape stays the same; the inner landscape changes.’
    • ‘We work with the outer form of our physical existence by bringing our complete attention to the physical body, which is the primary basis for our clinging.’
    • ‘He offers his, and indeed the century's, standard example of clocks which may have various internal mechanisms to produce the same outer effects.’
    • ‘We are completely distracted toward outer phenomena.’
    • ‘The film plays with the concepts of inner beauty and outer beauty, physical beauty and the beauty of true emotions.’
    • ‘Gestures figured or embodied the dialectic between inner essence and outer appearance, since they were supposed to express to the viewer the secret movements of the soul within.’
    • ‘The cognitive outer mask that we often live in, or at least I used to live in, it sort of draws you away from who you really are.’
    • ‘She can show her inner world changing, even as her outer optimism and cheer stays painted on.’
    • ‘He judged on the outer, the material not the spiritual.’
    • ‘For Mohammed dance is the outer physical expression of the inner being, disciplined by rhythm.’
    • ‘The images act as both a mapping of the session itself, and as transitional objects that lie between inner and outer reality.’
    • ‘But our two worlds, the outer one and the inner one, sometimes remain separate realms.’
    • ‘I don't think you can really differentiate between the inner spiritual world of yourself and the outer physical world around you.’
    • ‘Strictly speaking, our knowledge reaches only as far as the phenomena of inner and outer experience.’
    • ‘Only then do we balance the inner with the outer.’
    • ‘Simplify your outer life so your inner life can take charge.’
    • ‘Inner consciousness and outer reality are intimately related and co-create each other.’


  • 1British An outer garment or part of one.

    ‘boots with stiff leather outers’
    • ‘The moccasin is made of a sheep hide reversed to give the comfort of wool and the false impression of security by the leather outer.’
    • ‘It has a micromesh outer which limits the vest to less than 1 kilogram in weight, and has pockets of gel sewn in to it which can hold temperature for long periods.’
    • ‘My cigarette smoke is miniscule compared to the pollution that clings to our innards and outers from factories and traffic and from the unseen dangers caused by radio waves or electricity.’
  • 2British (in archery and shooting) the division of a target furthest from the bullseye.

    1. 2.1 A shot that strikes the outer.
  • 3British A container in which packaged objects are placed for transport or display.

    • ‘In 1971 he joined the boxmills operation where approximately one-third of all the company's packaging was manufactured - especially Christmas chocolate boxes, decorated outers and printed wrappers.’
    • ‘Most cases are made of cardboard outers, with cardboard vertical or papier mâché horizontal dividers.’
  • 4Australian informal The part of a racecourse outside the enclosure.

    • ‘He'd watched 100s of games from the outer.’
    • ‘He remembered occasions in the outer in the 1960s and '70s when a space would suddenly clear to reveal knots of men belting into each other.’
    • ‘How many times have I sat there in the outer, or on my lounge chair and watched them so nearly get it together, only to be methodically dismantled in the last twenty minutes?’
    • ‘They were tight wins and there is little doubt the sea of red and black in the outer helped make the difference.’
    • ‘From the outer - during the last quarter as the Bombers stalled going forward - the cry ‘Lead for him’ could be heard from the crowd.’


  • on the outer

    • informal Excluded from a group; rejected or isolated.

      ‘she has always been the girl who was on the outer at high school’
      • ‘He was on the outer after a breakdown in his working relationship with the group's senior management.’
      • ‘The film has no pretensions to be a psychological treatise, but its depiction of repressed passion, and the frustrations of those on the outer, is subtle and knowing.’
      • ‘People on the outer get fed up and energised, and new alliances form.’
      • ‘I remember being new in a church and I started making friends with those on the outer and those not quite in with the cool crowd.’
      • ‘Individuals within the party who may make excellent candidates but do not have union connections may feel "on the outer" in such a process.’
      • ‘She has served her time on the outer and the rumours are that she will soon be back.’
      • ‘This list will only serve to keep me permanently on the outer.’
      • ‘This new commission left me on the outer.’
      • ‘Many of us have no doubt been subjected to bullying-type behaviour or being on the outer.’
      • ‘I have found so much treasure making friends with those on the outer.’


Late Middle English: from out + -er, replacing earlier utter.