Definition of outside in English:



Pronunciation /ˈaʊtsaɪd//ˈoutsīd/
  • 1The external side or surface of something.

    ‘record the date on the outside of the file’
    • ‘And what's important is what he feels about me on the inside, not the outside.’
    • ‘In fact, I was enamored at the fact that since we spend most of our time at airports inside the airport, there should be postcards of the insides of airports, rather than of the outsides, which we often never get to see.’
    • ‘The golden colour which gives it its name is on the inner side of the valves, not the outside.’
    • ‘The outsides of buildings are horrible facades of doom and brimstone and that gunky stuff that forms in your eye when you're sleepy.’
    • ‘It works fine, and looks okay from the inside, but is nothing much to photograph from the outside.’
    • ‘They all sat down and had their own cups of hot cocoa, warming their insides and their outsides.’
    • ‘Visually powerful spastics lined the insides and outsides of small churches and large cathedrals.’
    • ‘Mark was not surprised to see that the inside of the building was as run-down as the outside.’
    • ‘A lot of lip service is paid to how the contestants are renovating the inside as well as the outside.’
    • ‘As mentioned before there is a symbiosis between the insides and the outsides, between our inner selves and the outside world.’
    • ‘He wondered how I cooked them through without charring the outsides to a blackened crust.’
    • ‘The former post office is a listed building, and the outside cannot be touched.’
    • ‘She hadn't seen the outsides of buildings before.’
    • ‘We saw this flat, and we wanted to match the inside with the outside.’
    • ‘Torches were lit on both the outsides of the buildings, and in the insides.’
    • ‘The inside was just about as nice looking as the outside for a police building.’
    • ‘If cool turns to cold, your core temperature becomes threatened and your insides start to feel like your outsides - chilly.’
    • ‘The outside should be just softening, but the insides still hard.’
    • ‘A pair of peak-like chicken croquettes drizzled in yellow giblet gravy have extra-crunchy outsides and smooth white-meat insides.’
    • ‘Take a quiz, to find out if the grey matter inside matches the one outside.’
    external surface, outer surface, surface, exterior, outer side, case, skin, shell, crust, husk, covering, outer layer, sheath, facade, elevation, front, frontage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The side of a racetrack further from the center, where the lanes are longer.
      • ‘Before they can turn they are having to swerve to the outside lane to give themselves some place.’
    2. 1.2 The side of a bend or curve where the edge or surface is longer in extent.
      • ‘With this loop you cannot tell which side is the inside and which is the outside.’
      longer edge, outer edge, edge, the long way round
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 The external appearance of someone or something.
      ‘was he as straight as he appeared on the outside?’
      • ‘I'll remember how she was even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.’
      • ‘He answered that it was only the outside which appeared different; people were the same everywhere.’
    4. 1.4 (in basketball) the area beyond the perimeter of the defense.
      ‘he often set up the Lakers' plays from the outside’
      • ‘If the pass goes to the baseline, a good shot often presents itself on a return pass to the outside.’


Pronunciation /ˈoutsīd//ˈaʊtsaɪd/
  • 1Situated on or near the exterior or external surface of something.

    ‘put the outside lights on’
    • ‘Neither of its outside surfaces had touched anything but air during its creation.’
    • ‘The outside surface is polished nicely to give a classy look to a very practical tool.’
    • ‘The outside light had faded and the crammed interior was a dim jumble of dark shapes under the solitary bulb.’
    • ‘Is an ear part of the inside or the outside of a body, and how can we distinguish its own inside and outside surfaces?’
    • ‘They also ripped an outside light from the wall at the front of the home.’
    • ‘All 150 new homes have lockable doors and windows, outside lights, and fencing to secure gardens.’
    • ‘Some of the outside lights of the Piccadilly gardens are upside down, which means there is no waterproof protection.’
    • ‘It is suggested you drive with headlights on and leave your outside lights on tonight.’
    • ‘The outside lights came on and the door opened to reveal a bearded man in his late forties.’
    • ‘The cheapest outside surfacing was pebble-dashing, which was therefore used.’
    • ‘Also, turn off outside taps from inside the house and drain any external pipes to prevent bursting.’
    • ‘When she got to his house, the outside light was on as was the kitchen light.’
    • ‘I followed him through the kitchen out a back door where he had the outside lights on.’
    • ‘There are outside lights at the front and rear of the house, and a 10 year structural guarantee.’
    • ‘At midnight the owner turns off the outside lights so we can see the stars.’
    • ‘There had been high expenditure on repairs to the clock and the outside light.’
    exterior, external, outer, outermost, outward, outdoor, out-of-doors
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a pitch) passing home plate on the side of the plate away from the batter, not in the strike zone.
      • ‘He tends to try to pull outside pitches and often chases pitches that are out of the strike zone.’
      • ‘Just try to hit the ball up the middle or go the other way with outside pitches.’
      • ‘Grissom looks like he has moved closer to the plate to handle the outside pitch.’
      • ‘This occurs most often on outside pitches with an ump having a wide strike zone.’
      • ‘Next was Paul Lo Duca, who took a good outside pitch down the first base line for a double.’
    2. 1.2 (in soccer and other sports) denoting positions nearer to the sides of the field.
      • ‘That last reference was perhaps a hint that Townsend will be given a game at outside centre to recover his confidence and form.’
      • ‘Skipper Andy Baggett moves to outside centre, with Chris Malherbe on the left wing.’
      • ‘Clemons played middle linebacker last year for the Saints, but the Texans will play him at right outside linebacker.’
      • ‘Baxendell is still one of the most talented outside centres in the country.’
      • ‘He doesn't have the pace to play outside centre, but he does run good rugby league-style angles and has quick feet.’
      • ‘The Titans have to figure out who is going to play left outside linebacker.’
    3. 1.3 (in basketball) taking place beyond the perimeter of the defense.
      ‘he needs work on his outside shot’
      • ‘Stoudamire has improved his outside shot and has limited his rushes to the basket.’
      • ‘Two free throws from Walsh, followed by two more foul shots and an outside shot from Fahey put them back on track.’
  • 2Not belonging to or coming from within a particular group.

    ‘I have some outside help’
    • ‘There is abundant evidence that reveals the resistance to outside control that exists within the universities.’
    • ‘They have to survive for up to 39 days with no outside help.’
    • ‘It would cost twice as much to hire outside people, even when his staff is earning overtime.’
    • ‘One has to factor in the idea that no matter what we offer, resistance to any outside force may result.’
    • ‘It signs contracts with outside laboratories to carry out research in specified areas.’
    • ‘It raises the possibility of corruption and the absence of outside review and control.’
    • ‘An outside observer can only wonder what it takes to get the message across.’
    • ‘At the moment, highways maintenance is carried out by a mix of the council's own teams and outside contractors.’
    • ‘When a motion is threatened by an outside enemy, immediate emergency measures are taken to counter it.’
    • ‘As I should have learned from my own show, it is easy to blame outside forces when stuff doesn't go your way, but at the end of it all you are in control.’
    • ‘Since I came from an outside school, I had no idea about the situation of the tutors.’
    • ‘Bosses blame a steep decline in outside contracts for the cuts.’
    • ‘But Mr Blyth stressed it was a mistake by the outside contractors who printed the ballot forms.’
    • ‘Admittedly this comes within a context of financial problems and lack of outside support.’
    • ‘All other staff are employed on a contract basis through outside agencies.’
    independent, consultant, consulting, hired, temporary, freelance, casual, visiting, non-resident, external, extramural, peripatetic
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Beyond one's own immediate personal concerns.
      ‘I was able to face the outside world again’
      • ‘My music got a lot better when I stopped concerning myself with outside influences.’
      • ‘Your husband's breakfast is vital if he is to face the outside world in a positive fashion.’
      • ‘When I went to interview him three years ago, he was, in the eyes of the outside world, a remote and beleaguered figure.’
      • ‘People who lack resilience tend to pin their problems on other people or outside events.’
      • ‘Usually people would gather around the set, eager for their one point of reliable contact with the outside world.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in the world, hostage-taking still continues virtually unnoticed in the outside world.’
      • ‘Goalies are a breed who do not like to be told by the outside world how they should behave.’
      • ‘You seem to be the only one here with a view of the outside world.’
      • ‘The threshold takes the position of a border between the home and the outside world.’
      • ‘Last year's tourist season was disappointing due to a number of outside factors beyond our control.’
      • ‘So events in the outside world don't really impact on things that are going on in the house.’
      • ‘The affairs of the town, the country and the outside world meant little to them.’
  • 3Highest possible; greatest; maximum.

    ‘new monthly charges that, according to outside estimates, may total $8 per line’
    • ‘It should acknowledge the outside possibility of a risk but stress the balancing benefits.’

preposition & adverb

Pronunciation /outˈsīd//aʊtˈsaɪd/
  • 1Situated or moving beyond the boundaries or confines of.

    as preposition ‘there was a boy outside the door’
    as adverb ‘the dog was still barking outside’
    ‘outside, the wind was as wild as ever’
    • ‘The weather is good today and I sent the boys outside as soon as breakfast was over.’
    • ‘Crossing the dark foyer, I stepped back outside onto the sidewalk.’
    • ‘When he saw me waiting outside of the classroom for him, he laughed.’
    • ‘I don't ever want to step outside of his classroom, so I'll go wherever he goes.’
    • ‘I heard a noise outside of the door and walked to it slowly.’
    • ‘When I stepped back outside, the snow was continuing.’
    • ‘He nodded and called to Maggie that we were just stepping outside for a moment.’
    • ‘Residents living nearby rushed outside after hearing a loud bang.’
    • ‘When he did he saw her just standing outside waiting for him and William.’
    • ‘I can barely stand walking outside after dark.’
    • ‘The crowd was now situated right outside her door, with the Duke's coach not too far away.’
    • ‘I stepped back outside and walked quickly in the direction of the festival.’
    • ‘The outside world usually stays outside or confined neatly in the TV box in the corner.’
    • ‘The same boy is standing outside a school waiting to be collected.’
    • ‘My friend had a car stolen by a gang of boys outside Starbucks.’
    • ‘One day they took a walk outside of the town.’
    • ‘He was running towards a little boy outside an open door, down the hall.’
    • ‘I should have said that all the kids who either went into the sewer or stood outside the sewer were boys.’
    • ‘I saw all the commotion outside of your house and I didn't know what happened.’
    • ‘Soon they got tired of standing outside in the pouring rain and retreated indoors.’
    outdoors, out of doors, out of the house, on the outside, externally, exteriorly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Not being a member of (a particular group)
      as preposition ‘those of us outside the university’
      • ‘The comments the member is referring to were made by a member outside the House.’
      • ‘She warmly thanked the many members both in and outside the committee who have given sterling service over the year.’
      • ‘He stood head and shoulders above all his contemporaries inside and outside the University.’
      • ‘Kam was popular at university and made relationships with people outside his own group.’
      • ‘On many farms younger members of the family are seeking careers outside the industry.’
      • ‘The rise in reading groups outside the university is perhaps significant in this regard.’
      • ‘He knows full well that no one may refer to anyone outside the 120 members of this House.’
      • ‘This is an experience that cannot be replicated outside a university or something at least akin to it.’
      • ‘The problem exists for our members outside public practice who prepare tax returns.’
      • ‘Whether members comment on persons outside the House is a matter of taste.’
      • ‘During the holidays the rooms can also be booked by people outside the university for conferences and meetings.’
    2. 1.2 (in football, soccer, and other sports) closer to the side of the field than (another player)
      as preposition ‘Swift appeared outside him with Andrews on his left’
      • ‘The only home score came when full-back Leigh Hinton came up outside his winger to make the extra man.’
  • 2preposition Beyond the limits or scope of.

    ‘the high cost of shipping has put it outside their price range’
    • ‘Speculation has always been regarded as lying outside the legitimate scope of jury conduct.’
    • ‘It would be outside the scope of legitimate judicial interpretation.’
    • ‘But the problem here, of course, is that such changes are outside the scope of the bill.’
    • ‘As I pointed out, this matter was deemed to be outside the scope of the bill.’
    • ‘That is a completely misleading defence, given that that is quite outside the intended scope of the bill.’
    • ‘The suggestion for which the award is made is outside the scope of the employee's normal duties.’
    • ‘However, the question will not be put, because the proposed new clause is outside the scope of the bill.’
    • ‘Those remarks were moral judgments outside the scope of any special judicial expertise.’
    • ‘An analysis of scaffolding effects and endocytosis is outside the scope of this study.’
    • ‘Vague terms give no perspective on experiences outside the normal range.’
    • ‘This venue provides substantial meals outside our price range but, with care, modest snacks are available.’
    • ‘Locations that were once outside the budget of most people have now come within their reach.’
    • ‘This is outside the scope of a record company, but I'm told a good book is under way.’
    • ‘That's a distinction that might lie outside the scope of this thread.’
    • ‘Such rules therefore fall outside the scope of Article 30 of the Treaty.’
    • ‘As a general rule, a solicitor is not required to provide services outside the scope of the retainer.’
    • ‘The mere fact that it is a copy of another copy renders it outside the scope of protection.’
    • ‘But that is an entirely different and complex argument outside the scope of this opinion.’
    • ‘It also filters out perspectives which fall outside the scope of its rules and dominant ideas.’
    • ‘How is a potential rival to know whether something has been deliberately left outside the scope of the claim?’


Outside of tends to be more commonly used in the US than in Britain, where outside usually suffices, but, like its cousin off of, it is colloquial and not recommended for formal writing. (See off.) The adverb outside is not problematic when referring to physical space, position, etc. (I'm going outside), but the compound preposition outside of is often used as a colloquial (and often inferior) way of saying except for, other than, apart from (outside of what I just mentioned, I can't think of any reason not to). Besides possibly sounding more informal than desired, outside of may cause misunderstanding by suggesting physical space or location when that is not the point to be emphasized, or when no such sense is intended—consider the ambiguity in this sentence: outside of China, he has few interests. Does this mean that his primary interest is China? Or does it mean that whenever he is not in China, he has few interests?


  • at the outside

    • (of an estimate) at the most.

      ‘every minute, or at the outside, every ninety seconds’
      • ‘The classic Kiwi beach holiday would surely come into its own within a matter of days, or, at the outside, a week.’
      • ‘My guess is you're looking at another week, maybe ten days at the outside of any military operations at all.’
      • ‘It is thought that the hostel will be needed for refugees until the end of June, but, at the outside, by the end of August.’
      • ‘We are pretty confident that 100 per cent will be with the Royal Mail by midnight tonight or, at the outside, in the early hours.’
      • ‘With only a handful of motions on the agenda, and most of them applicable to Saturday night's county convention in any event, my expectation is that Thursday night's business will be concluded in two hours at the outside.’
      • ‘The obvious answer must be to contract the concept of ‘long-term’ into a more manageable period: perhaps five years at the outside, but more likely one or two years.’
      • ‘It didn't take long, five minutes at the outside.’
      • ‘There were certainly no more than several, at the outside.’
      • ‘That's $140 billion dollars a year, at the outside.’
      • ‘We patch the game almost every week - every two weeks at the outside.’
  • on the outside

    • Away from or not belonging to a particular circle or institution.

      ‘when you're on the outside, then you have a much better view of what they're doing’
      • ‘As an only child growing up in Aberdeen, she remembers the sense of always being slightly on the outside.’
      • ‘Talk to someone on the outside, like other people in your family, a trusted teacher or another adult.’
  • on the outside looking in

    • (of a person) excluded from a group or activity.

      • ‘Sweden, like Scotland, is on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘The citizens, most affected though they may have been by the crimes in question, would thus be standing on the outside looking in at the process.’
      • ‘I used to be on the outside looking in, but now I am right in the middle of it, and I can see what it's all about.’
      • ‘But our diplomats should not be on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘The time is now critical for members of both parties to decide, once and for all, if they can again be part of the same household, or if maintaining their differences is worth the price of remaining forever on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘It's different when you're on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘Cut off from both the working world and the world of his family, cut off from all of day-to-day humanity, we see Vincent always on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘The era of colonization and nation-building has left many indigenous groups in the third world on the outside looking in.’
      • ‘I've always felt that I've been on the outside looking in; I've been different.’
      • ‘Most people would understand that we need to get an element of comfort because we are on the outside looking in.’
  • an outside chance

    • A remote possibility.

      • ‘It now means his lead is down to 30 points over us, and there are five races to go, so it gives us an outside chance.’
      • ‘There's an outside chance that he could be the voters' choice, but it's clear the judges don't see him as finalist material.’
      • ‘I gave them an outside chance and I am glad to be proven right.’
      • ‘The 24-year-old Donegal man sees himself as having an outside chance of taking one of the three seats in North West.’
      • ‘She could ride next Sunday's women's road race, where she has an outside chance of a medal, or spend the week relaxing, and basking in some of the glory of her historic achievement.’
      • ‘There's even an outside chance of British success.’
      • ‘The six-game unbeaten run of results does give them an outside chance of making the ‘play-offs’.’
      • ‘The former young driver of the year finalist still has an outside chance of the Irish title this season and will be pushing hard to continue his winning ways on home soil.’
      • ‘There is still an outside chance that we might escape the dreaded drop but the statistics are firmly stacked against us and it will now take an exceptional effort to avoid the drop.’
      • ‘Scientists think there is an outside chance of microbes similar to those which exist in very harsh conditions on Earth surviving on Mars.’
      slight, slender, slim, small, tiny, faint, negligible, marginal, remote, distant, vague, unlikely, improbable
      View synonyms
  • outside of

    • 1Beyond the boundaries of.

      ‘a village 20 miles outside of New York’
      • ‘The site is in the Green Belt, and outside of any defined development boundary.’
      1. 1.1Apart from.
        ‘outside of his family, nobody cares too much about him’
        • ‘Stop thinking the day is about anything outside of religion besides having a good time.’
        • ‘It dawned on me that we hadn't actually sat opposite each other outside of a scene from the play before then.’
        • ‘This means that members of the public will have to use the park's public toilets outside of these hours.’
        • ‘He accepts that, outside of a handful of top flight clubs, few will have his take-home pay.’
        excluding, not including, excepting, omitting, leaving out, not counting, but, besides, barring, bar, other than, exclusive of, saving, save, apart from, aside from
        View synonyms