Definition of exterior in US English:



  • 1Forming, situated on, or relating to the outside of something.

    ‘exterior and interior walls’
    • ‘The exterior metal gates at Hennessy Centre, which houses the Mitsukoshi department store, were halfway down before the march started.’
    • ‘Floors, walls and ceilings are decorated in both interior and exterior spaces.’
    • ‘Cllr Moore said that a lot of the recently built housing in the town had electrical problems, interior and exterior decoration problems, and rubbish problems.’
    • ‘Is there space at the joint between the frame and the interior and exterior walls of the house?’
    • ‘On offer is a high standard of interior and exterior finish.’
    • ‘Of course, it turned freakishly sunny, pumping the contrast between interior and exterior light too high.’
    • ‘Folded planes and porous, exterior materials like perforated metal are the norm these days.’
    • ‘Rigid foam panels can be used to insulate both interior and exterior walls.’
    • ‘Sava Haralanov and Mincho Nikiforov's paintings depict the interior and exterior facets of a working family atmosphere.’
    • ‘Stained glass decor is commonly used by architects and interior decorators on exterior windows, wall spaces and entry ways.’
    • ‘As you can see from the photo below the walls survive and are covered in ivy, while what would have been the interior is now an exterior park area, a nice and quiet place to sit.’
    • ‘Galvanized sheet metal was chosen for the exterior walls and roof because of its economy and durability.’
    • ‘The couple who owns the Colorado house selected moss rock from Wyoming for the exterior and interior walls.’
    • ‘A gray window pane in the image on the far left defines the boundary between interior and exterior space.’
    • ‘The ends of the building, without double glass walls, are shaded by an exterior metal mesh.’
    • ‘All cracks on both interior and exterior surfaces must be filled.’
    • ‘Overall, it is packed with interior and exterior features to boost comfort, safety and security, so full marks there, too.’
    • ‘These are assigned to exterior and interior walls.’
    • ‘Dismantlers are always a good source of interior and exterior trim (though bumpers are often the first thing to go in an accident).’
    • ‘If a window leaks water, interior finishes or exterior wall materials can be damaged.’
    outer, outside, outermost, outward, external, surface, superficial, extrinsic, visible
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    1. 1.1 Coming from outside.
      ‘exterior noise’
      • ‘Both rooms can also be cooled with a fan from outside once exterior temperatures are low enough.’
      • ‘Exterior noise sources abound, with the most common being aircraft and traffic.’
      • ‘With regard to exterior noise, the codes usually require measurement of the exterior acoustic environment in order to determine the performance standard.’
      • ‘Assuming the case blocks 8dB, that will leave us with an exterior noise level of 44dBA adjacent to the case.’
      • ‘For these, designs are carved on the outside and special exterior lighting is used to illuminate them.’
    2. 1.2 (in filming) outdoor.
      ‘exterior locations’
      • ‘So there is an overall colour-coding characteristic that is certainly true of all the exterior shots of the film.’
      • ‘Two further weeks were spent on an exterior set, built into the ruins of a castle outside Prague, where the streets of London were constructed.’
      • ‘Except for some exterior shots done in Washington, the film was shot entirely at Columbia studios.’
      • ‘All of the exterior scenes were filmed in the middle of the night and I was barefoot.’
      • ‘Filmed in Alberta and Colorado, every exterior shot portrays the mercilessness of winter in the high mountains.’
      • ‘It is really the exterior shots and fight sequences which give the film its scope and grandeur.’
      • ‘From that episode on, no actors are seen in exterior shots, which remained on the show only to establish where the scene took place before they came to a shot of the indoor set.’
      • ‘Because so much of the movie is set on one exterior location, the texture of the color is a key character in the film.’
      • ‘According to Liu, the second and third phases of construction will focus on the subsequent stages of film processing and exterior shooting.’
      • ‘The series shoots interiors at studios in Canada, but allows for exterior sequences to be filmed on location in Los Angeles.’
      open air, out-of-doors, outside, external
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  • 1The outer surface or structure of something.

    ‘a jar with floral designs on the exterior’
    • ‘They came in a basket, wrapped in a piece of cloth, still warm, made of the lightest dough, with the crispiest exterior coated in the best cinnamon sugar ever.’
    • ‘Even more than the exterior, its design is almost subdued and definitely refined, more like a luxury car than a truck.’
    • ‘The car industry must continue to improve the way that car exteriors are designed, in order to reduce pedestrian injuries in a car accident.’
    • ‘The exterior of the bacterial membrane was assembled by replication of a single LPS molecule and a single phospholipid molecule.’
    • ‘In fact, wrapped around all four sides of the exterior is an interactive communication surface.’
    • ‘Brush exterior with surface conditioner and let air dry.’
    • ‘Muddy trainer prints stained the polished floorboards, marring their flawless exterior like blood seeping over a white surface.’
    • ‘To emphasize the sculptural, three-dimensional aspect, he started playing with the surface texture of the exterior and the uneven forms of the cow.’
    • ‘A long line of cars came into view, chrome exteriors reflecting the surface of the world around them.’
    • ‘An end-box on each side of the turret exterior held a prism-type mirror.’
    • ‘I also had a warm roll which was suitably soft inside a crusty exterior.’
    • ‘Coming their way is the advanced lightweight coupé, a two-plus-two car with purposeful and seductive exteriors that take Jaguar design firmly into this new century.’
    • ‘Think of heavy metals infused with pigment and sheen like the patina of rich auto exteriors and you've nailed the right color for your next manicure.’
    • ‘Make sure that both the interior and exterior look as close to standard as is possible, as even the smallest modification can alienate potential takers.’
    • ‘The design of its exterior is leaner and is found to be more agile looking comprising of large wheels that enhances the vehicle's powerful and capable stance.’
    • ‘For elbow pads I suggest any elbow pad with a hard plastic exterior if the surface you play on it very rough.’
    • ‘But the appliances have for the most part merely changed their exteriors and veneers without huge leaps into creative realms.’
    • ‘He decorates the exterior with an airbrushed design that Kayla creates.’
    • ‘The catalytic domain faces the exterior of the plasma membrane and is anchored by a transmembrane-spanning domain.’
    surface, lamination, overlay, facing, covering, coat, finish, finishing coat, layer, decorative layer, protective layer, cladding
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    1. 1.1 The outer structure of a building.
      ‘the museum has a modern exterior’
      • ‘Arranging for placement on building exteriors or roofs was either impossible or would have added to the implementation time.’
      • ‘The detailed appearance of the exterior was designed to maintain the precise circular geometry of the plan.’
      • ‘It will also cover the cost of finishing off the exterior of the building.’
      • ‘There was no scope whatsoever for picturesque massing or sculptural effects, making the design of the exterior essentially an exercise in cladding.’
      • ‘The rustic qualities of the exterior disappear inside the house.’
      • ‘The exterior is a protected structure but inside had to be gutted.’
      • ‘Several facets of the glass exterior reveal crisscrossing structural trusses, and parts of the outside are sheathed in copper.’
      • ‘The building is a simple glass tower with an unusual feature: Its exterior is designed to serve as a screen for a nightly light show.’
      • ‘There are three slightly varied floor plans to choose from, but all of the houses are the same size and have aluminum siding exteriors in yellow, gray, blue, and white.’
      • ‘The wood and native stone of the exterior continue inside, helping the house become a part of its rugged ridge-top site.’
      • ‘Hand cut, creamy inside with the crisp exterior of the genuine twice-fried article; these were a dream.’
      • ‘The design of the exterior is simple and in some respects traditional but the lines are clean and fresh.’
      • ‘Such uncomplicated exteriors reduce the amount of exposed surface area on each house to cut heating, cooling and construction costs.’
      • ‘Many data centers and telecom building exteriors and lobbies, for instance, are blast-proof with ballistic glazing up to 30 feet high.’
      • ‘As her mother pulled up into the parking lot, Ekat looked out through the window and saw the exterior of the building.’
      • ‘Although the baroque building, which was built in 1907, was recently refurbished inside, the exterior is repeatedly covered in graffiti and overrun with litter.’
      • ‘The exquisite interior matches what the exterior promises with its carved arches and high cupolas.’
      • ‘Keiko took Kakeru, and led him to the door leading to the exterior of the building.’
      • ‘Inside the hard exterior of ice floats a memory of intricate Victorian-style furniture made of snow.’
      • ‘The bank building has a windowless exterior, with wide glass entrance doors.’
      outside, outside surface, outer surface, external surface, outward appearance, outward aspect, externals, facade, front
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    2. 1.2 A person's behavior and appearance, often contrasted with their true character.
      ‘beneath that assured exterior, she's vulnerable’
      • ‘In actual fact, beneath our placid exteriors, both of us were frantically trying to dream up an improvised line which could break the deadlock.’
      • ‘While the home videos continued to show the same old smiling Mamdouh, beneath the happy exterior was a man under mounting pressure.’
      • ‘Beneath his pleasant exterior, there is a hard edge to his personality and a ruthless side to his captaincy.’
      • ‘She stands just five feet tall, but her dainty exterior belies the inner determination that has erupted through the surface of her ill-health.’
      • ‘The secrets and lies that hide behind Rhoda's perfect exterior seem to characterize her society as a whole.’
      • ‘I have found that beneath their sometimes hard exteriors, the Czechs are in fact very tender, social and personable folks who care deeply about their friends and family.’
      • ‘Beneath his military exterior, a gentler character had lurked, who loved music, painting and poetry and who knitted socks while under German fire.’
      • ‘Despite his smooth exterior, the arrogant person is, ironically, restrained and inhibited from expressing his true self.’
      • ‘To call him a character would be an understatement, but beneath the eccentric exterior lurked a diver with levels of discipline and skill I have rarely seen on my travels.’
      • ‘I know that the true essence of a person is more than their exterior.’
      • ‘But the boy is still visible beneath the hirsute exterior.’
      • ‘I did, and the intensity of his reply served as ample proof that this chap has a fierce patriotism coursing beneath the quiet exterior.’
      • ‘Just beneath his gruff exterior lies a gentle soul seeking to fill a spiritual void with companionship.’
      • ‘He gave off the aura of a bad-boy but underneath the tough exterior was sweet and understanding… qualities he had shown me.’
      • ‘As vice-captain Rahul Dravid says, beneath the happy-go-lucky exterior is a mind that is defiant and determined.’
      • ‘Strangers may think of you as aloof and arrogant; only those closest to you know that beneath your snippy exterior lies a core of red hot rage.’
      • ‘And yet beneath the mellow exterior lies a fiercely independent, and at times disputatious, thinker.’
      • ‘He looks more fragile suddenly, as if beneath the neatly handsome exterior, the confident demeanour, glimpses of a private self have been revealed.’
      • ‘I smiled, glad to see that beneath his gruff exterior, dwelt a real person who appreciated good literature.’
      • ‘Attend closely to him; he is vastly experienced, and beneath his frivolous exterior beats a heart as true as it is misplaced.’
      image, face, public face, character, personality, identity, self, front, facade, mask, guise, role, part
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    3. 1.3 (in filming) an outdoor scene.
      • ‘The political situation at that time precluded filming the exteriors on real South-East Asian locations, and the studio jungle looks unconvincing.’
      • ‘And I directed the exteriors and street scenes.’
      • ‘With the weather improving, the exteriors were filmed in the fields around the Buckinghamshire studios.’
      • ‘Interiors were shot in Hollywood and exteriors in England with filming wrapping up by mid-July 1964.’
      • ‘Griffith made me realize something else: I was wondering how to film the exteriors, i.e. how to insert the characters into the scenery.’


Early 16th century: from Latin, comparative of exter ‘outer’.