Definition of outward in English:



  • 1attributive Of, on, or from the outside.

    ‘outward pressure’
    • ‘Attendees at auctions of collectibles are not known for any outward expression of enthusiasm.’
    • ‘And, although this is a very traditional boat in outward appearance, the interior looks nothing like your father's cruiser.’
    • ‘I only relinquish acceptance of this nomination under the pressure of outward circumstances, a nomination which I regard as a great honour in every respect.’
    • ‘He nodded faintly, his smirk the only outward sign of emotion.’
    • ‘Though the current Mustang shares few outward similarities with Mustangs from the 1980s, the underlying platform has been in use since 1979.’
    • ‘Apes share some of the same expressions or at least outward manifestations as people.’
    • ‘Even worse than the interior feeling of alienation is the outward hostility shown to those with opposing political beliefs.’
    • ‘All outward signs point to your average bakery, but the delicious delights displayed on the shelves of O'Hehir's bakery in Wine Street can actually be enjoyed on site.’
    • ‘The crisis resulted in a new round of economic reforms to increase foreign investment and liberalize trade and thus reinforced their outward orientation.’
    • ‘The cell thus exerts outward pressure on its cell wall, and when all cells are maintaining this pressure, the plant gains rigidity.’
    • ‘To the casual observer Jake shows no outward signs of having spent 43 years in an institution.’
    • ‘‘Fear societies’ are not only nasty to their own subjects but prone to outward aggression and thus dangerous.’
    • ‘A sharp intake of breath was the only outward sign I gave that it stung.’
    • ‘These scenes were videotaped rather than shot on film, to give the landscape an intimate intensity as the outward manifestation of his interior struggle.’
    • ‘In the project's office in Glasgow's West Street, women are complimented on their clothes, their eye make-up, on the tiny outward changes that signify inner progress.’
    • ‘Very wisely no new building is permitted - and although old buildings can be converted a very vigilant conservation lobby makes sure that villages preserve their outward aspect.’
    • ‘The government should make technical advice available to the owners of these buildings so that all modern facilities could be added to them without changing their outward designs.’
    • ‘You like that he's free of outward assumptions.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to the external appearance of something rather than its true nature.
      ‘an outward display of friendliness’
      • ‘Though just an anatomical study, it already foreshadowed the sculptor's later efforts to reveal the essence rather than merely copy outward appearances.’
      • ‘Both see the lasting truth beneath the surface of mere outward appearance.’
      • ‘In the Japanese language there are two paired words - hone and tatemae - the former describes the outward appearance of things and the latter the actual nature of things.’
      • ‘They, from all outward appearances, are great girls.’
      • ‘It is the nature of man to look on the outward, but outward appearances can be deceiving.’
      • ‘I won't say absolutely so because, despite all outward appearances, we humans share a common nature.’
      • ‘Rather, it has the outward appearance of a temple, but inside, it is a high-tech lab of unknown origin.’
      • ‘By all outward appearances, things looked dead.’
      • ‘All outward appearance of friendliness dropped from Kreed.’
      • ‘I was a first year medical student when I first realized that outward appearances occasionally belie the truth.’
      • ‘And it seems that when you outlaw the outward appearance of poverty, the poverty you find when you scratch the surface is much more squalid.’
      • ‘It may be theologically sound, but I am uncomfortable with the emphasis on outward form rather than true inner spiritual acceptance of the message.’
      • ‘There has been a lot said lately about a person's outward appearance being a true reflection of the inner being.’
      • ‘Yet the banana seems unmoved by that outward display of vanity.’
      • ‘And we're guilty of looking on people's outward appearances but it's what's inside here that counts.’
      • ‘Spiritual advance came from the cultivation of appropriate attitudes rather than outward behaviour.’
      • ‘However, this outward display of unity masked divisions between unions that became apparent during the consultation period.’
      • ‘However, despite all outward appearances of accepting the need for change, the woman's anger is such that she has yet to abide by any of the agreements.’
      • ‘Despite their outward appearance the class had a deep respect for Mr. Maker, and none of them were sure why.’
      • ‘If the last twenty-five years had taught him anything it was that outward appearances were wholly untrustworthy.’
      external, outer, outside, outermost, exterior
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Outer.
      ‘the outward physical body’
  • 2attributive Going out or away from a place.

    ‘the outward voyage’
    • ‘The Great Depression temporarily slowed the outward migration, but it didn't change the yearnings of Americans.’
    • ‘Take one aspirin on the outward bound journey and two within 36 hours of return.’
    • ‘That is, the freight of a ship for a single outward voyage from Britain was computed by the Navy Board according to the amount of cargo, usually expressed in tons, actually loaded on a vessel.’
    • ‘An inward journey might be as effective and interesting as an outward journey.’
    • ‘In either case, there was no outward current through the channels during the depolarization.’
    • ‘You can return with consecutive flights and regain the day lost on the outward journey.’


  • Outwards.

    • ‘From there, his commitment to spiritual practice, creative work and healing radiates outward.’
    • ‘Kneel down with your knees pressed together and your feet splayed outward.’
    • ‘When a nuclear device is detonated, it emits a broad spectrum of electromagnetic waves that radiate outward from the detonating bomb.’
    • ‘The amino acid side chains extend radially outward, away from the helical backbone.’
    • ‘The external nature of our service must be directed outward.’
    • ‘In a low-pressure cell, centrifugal force acts radially outward but the pressure gradient force radially inward.’
    • ‘Cue balls also have sweet spots that radiate outward from the center.’
    • ‘The optical revolution has spread outward from the core.’
    • ‘A special, new kind of warmth spread outward from his heart.’
    • ‘Notice that it is circular, rather than two waves spreading outward in opposite directions.’
    • ‘Thoughts of suspicion diffused outward from his center, and he purged himself of tensions.’
    • ‘The diffusion of Hispanics outward from these core areas, in terms of total numbers, is far less rapid than recent press accounts imply.’
    • ‘He spun the knob expertly, until the last tumbler clicked smoothly into place and the heavy door swung outward, revealing the dark interior of the steel box.’
    • ‘The process continues to spread outward, triggering successive generations of fewer and fewer stars.’
    • ‘The first priority of builders is the immediate surrounding environment, starting with the home and moving outward from there.’
    • ‘The arms radiated outward from the center with equal angles separating each arm and those adjacent to it.’
    • ‘My seat hit the wall when I pushed myself outward from the counter.’
    • ‘A beam of light collided with the deck and exploded outward in a dome shape.’
    • ‘As the particle gains energy, it picks up speed and spirals outward from the center of the machine.’
    • ‘Check your system by placing a number of equal-size cans around the lawn, at regular intervals outward from the sprinklers.’


Old English ūtweard (see out-, -ward).