Definition of inside out in US English:

inside out


  • With the inner surface turned outward.

    ‘we made a very quick change, and her dress was put on inside out’
    • ‘Hang them on the line inside out as well because the sun will bleach the fabric.’
    • ‘I've just nearly gone out of the door with my joggers on inside out.’
    • ‘I remember being on the Tube in the morning and realizing that I'd put my t-shirt on inside out.’
    • ‘Derry irons sport shirts inside out so that the plastic lettering doesn't melt.’
    • ‘From November to March its rooms are booked up more quickly than umbrellas turn inside out.’
    • ‘Inside, when you halve them and flip the skin inside out to eat it, the sumptuous orange flesh is neither watery nor stringy.’
    • ‘They say to meet a witch is easy - you put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night.’
    • ‘She has dissected found Kleenex boxes and turned them inside-out.’
    • ‘This was followed by another lad going by the name of Thanksgiving, who wore his jumper artistically inside out.’
    • ‘For us first-time cruisers it was all a bit of a giggle, especially when it was pointed out that my lifejacket was on inside out.’
    • ‘A sudden violent gust of wind which blew it inside out and sideways, so all the spokes got bent out of shape.’
    • ‘Because of sensitive skin, he has been known at times to wear his shirts inside out to avoid irritation.’
    • ‘We didn't have a clue what we were doing as the thing was blown inside out, outside in and upside down.’
    • ‘I'm the one running through the gate as the bell rings with my cardigan on inside out.’
    • ‘When you get dressed you put your top on inside out and try putting your trousers on the wrong way round.’


  • Having the inner surface turned outward.

    ‘inside-out clothes’
    • ‘He is sporting several days of stubble and a pinstriped secondhand sport coat over an inside-out T-shirt.’
    • ‘A golfer turned up on the first last Saturday with his shirt inside-out - seemed to affect his play too!’
    • ‘To put it bluntly, Calzone is kind of an inside-out pizza.’
    • ‘So I guess the opposition can just pick on the spectators with the inside-out shirts…’
    • ‘Proton uptake into the inside-out vesicles was monitored as the decrease in the intensity of the acridine orange at 495 nm.’
    • ‘After all, there are plenty of Scottish players who are infinitely more pleasing to the eye when their faces are hidden by inside-out football shirts.’
    • ‘Cher was dressed in what looked like an inside out polar bear complemented by a fetching Egyptian headdress.’
    • ‘Or more exactly, they taste like an inside-out hot fudge sundae: sweet, then salty.’
    • ‘I saw more inside-out brollies today than I have in ages.’
    • ‘We then investigated ion permeability of rSK2 channel under bionic conditions using excised inside-out patches.’
    • ‘Single-channel recordings were performed in excised inside-out membrane patches using standard patch-clamp techniques.’
    • ‘The blocky concrete structure resembles an inside-out library, with the imprint of rows of books, spines facing in, lining the outer walls.’
    • ‘There, at the bottom of the bag, was a pair of inside-out bicycle shorts.’
    • ‘Personal advantages there may be for those who are wet-behind-the-ears, it doesn't follow that the world exists in the inside-out state.’
    • ‘My umbrella was worryingly teetering halfway between inside-out and not-inside-out.’
    • ‘The B.C. is a Canadian classic inside-out roll of barbecue salmon skin and cucumber.’
    • ‘By the time the inside-out flesh fiend shows up to correct the carnal corruption, a kind of catharsis occurs.’
    • ‘That this belt is on a pair of inside-out jeans makes him especially pathetic, but somehow it doesn't diminish one's respect for his intelligence.’
    • ‘That would be the other knee scraped now, with a little ankle twisty thrown into the mix and an inside-out Coach umbrella.’


  • know something inside out

    • Know something very thoroughly.

      ‘managers who know the business inside out’
      • ‘People who head up high-performing businesses really know the business inside out and tend to have been there for a long time.’
      • ‘It was the easy talk of two people who know each other inside out.’
      • ‘I feel that I have learned so much from Terry and, in knowing the club inside out, have something to offer.’
      • ‘Eleven-year-old daughter Holly might be the chief taster (sweet-toothed Robin likes to help too), but it is Jackie who knows her chocolates inside out despite the fact that she rarely eats them herself.’
      • ‘If you don't know it inside out and backwards, you are in trouble.’
      • ‘Most importantly, however, Miller is a man who knows the Lions inside out.’
      • ‘For someone who knows the table tennis game inside out those views ought to be taken on board by the powers that be.’
      • ‘But he has come a long way in a year and now knows the business inside out.’
      • ‘So it's important for a good Stage Manager to know the play inside out and back to front.’
      • ‘He is an excellent manager who knows the game inside out.’
      acquire a knowledge of, gain an understanding of, acquire skill in, become competent in, become proficient in, grasp, master, take in, absorb, assimilate, pick up, digest, familiarize oneself with
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  • turn something inside out

    • 1Turn the inner surface of something outward.

      ‘she played with her leather gloves, turning each finger inside out’
      • ‘One of her favourite tricks was to turn a pair of her husband's trousers inside out and use them to make other garments.’
      • ‘Helen turns her gloves inside out with a chopstick when she's finished for the day and throws them in the washing machine.’
      • ‘I told him that I didn't have any money by turning the pockets of my shorts inside out.’
      • ‘This is rather like turning a sock inside out, only with the surface of the sock covered with numerous tiny hooks.’
      • ‘I've seen metal dustbins, old zinc baths, even car tyres turned inside out and planted up.’
      • ‘I turned my pockets inside out but no money fell out, because I stuffed it all in my shoe.’
      • ‘Turning something inside out reminds me of a wonderful book I read when I was a kid.’
      • ‘So the shirts were simply turned inside out and the players got on with the business of winning the game.’
      • ‘Petruchio, having declared it unfit for her, turned the right red cap inside out so that the brown lining was displayed.’
      • ‘Hand it to a knitter and they would look, admire and then turn it inside out to check out the steeks, whether you weave or carry your yarn, knot or splice and check out the stitching.’
      search, look through, hunt through, rummage in, rummage through, rifle through, dig into, ferret in, ferret about in, ferret around in, root about in, root around in, turn inside out
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      1. 1.1Change something utterly.
        ‘it is not so easy to turn your whole life inside out’
        • ‘Wolf Parade forges an energetic and emotional style that effortlessly turns indie-songwriting conventions inside out then injects this imploded creation full of punk and soul - depending on how they're feeling at the time.’
        • ‘Camp is a world where the norms of society are turned upside down and inside out into a culture of its own.’
        • ‘They are hilarious because they use the motifs of Top Gun and Rent songs and turn them inside-out.’
        • ‘Carter turns the system inside out for himself.’
        • ‘Monday's piece, ‘Best of Friends, Worlds Apart,’ by Mirta Ojito, turns another cliché inside out.’
        • ‘Accordingly, architectural practice needs to be turned inside-out.’
        • ‘So many ‘ordinary’ people have turned their lives inside out for us.’
        • ‘Yet even if this might be called a form of dialectic, it has been turned inside out.’
        • ‘To her horror, though, Simone wins and strangles Guido, after which the drama is turned inside out and husband and wife are happily and implausibly reconciled.’
        • ‘In the poem, Coleridge takes that ancient image of human purpose, the triumphant journey to master a world, and reverses it, turns it inside out.’
        turn inside out
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      2. 1.2informal Cause utter confusion in; defeat totally.
        ‘he turned the defender inside out’
        • ‘He turned Mammadov inside out before crossing for Hartson to bring the ball down and smash it high into the roof of the net from an acute angle.’
        • ‘The stocky midfielder turned John Anderson inside out and kept his head well to slot the ball past Alexander.’
        • ‘It will turn you inside out and expose the inner workings of your soul under a cruel microscope.’
        • ‘Seol turns the Germans inside out on the left-hand side of the German area, and rolls an inviting ball into the path of Park.’
        • ‘We were five points down but then turned them inside out and just gave it everything.’