Definition of outside in English:



  • 1The external side or surface of something.

    ‘record the date on the outside of the file’
    • ‘Take a quiz, to find out if the grey matter inside matches the one outside.’
    • ‘If cool turns to cold, your core temperature becomes threatened and your insides start to feel like your outsides - chilly.’
    • ‘She hadn't seen the outsides of buildings before.’
    • ‘Visually powerful spastics lined the insides and outsides of small churches and large cathedrals.’
    • ‘They all sat down and had their own cups of hot cocoa, warming their insides and their outsides.’
    • ‘The former post office is a listed building, and the outside cannot be touched.’
    • ‘The inside was just about as nice looking as the outside for a police building.’
    • ‘We saw this flat, and we wanted to match the inside with the outside.’
    • ‘The golden colour which gives it its name is on the inner side of the valves, not the outside.’
    • ‘Torches were lit on both the outsides of the buildings, and in the insides.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As mentioned before there is a symbiosis between the insides and the outsides, between our inner selves and the outside world.’
    • ‘And what's important is what he feels about me on the inside, not the outside.’
    • ‘A lot of lip service is paid to how the contestants are renovating the inside as well as the outside.’
    • ‘A pair of peak-like chicken croquettes drizzled in yellow giblet gravy have extra-crunchy outsides and smooth white-meat insides.’
    • ‘The outsides of buildings are horrible facades of doom and brimstone and that gunky stuff that forms in your eye when you're sleepy.’
    • ‘He wondered how I cooked them through without charring the outsides to a blackened crust.’
    • ‘Mark was not surprised to see that the inside of the building was as run-down as the outside.’
    • ‘It works fine, and looks okay from the inside, but is nothing much to photograph from the outside.’
    • ‘The outside should be just softening, but the insides still hard.’
    external surface, outer surface, surface, exterior, outer side, case, skin, shell, crust, husk, covering, outer layer, sheath, facade, elevation, front, frontage
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    1. 1.1The 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.’
    2. 1.2The 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.’
    3. 1.3The 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.’


  • 1Situated on or near the exterior or external surface of something.

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

    ‘I have some outside help’
    • ‘They have to survive for up to 39 days with no outside help.’
    • ‘It signs contracts with outside laboratories to carry out research in specified areas.’
    • ‘One has to factor in the idea that no matter what we offer, resistance to any outside force may result.’
    • ‘At the moment, highways maintenance is carried out by a mix of the council's own teams and outside contractors.’
    • ‘There is abundant evidence that reveals the resistance to outside control that exists within the universities.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It would cost twice as much to hire outside people, even when his staff is earning overtime.’
    • ‘Bosses blame a steep decline in outside contracts for the cuts.’
    • ‘It raises the possibility of corruption and the absence of outside review and control.’
    • ‘But Mr Blyth stressed it was a mistake by the outside contractors who printed the ballot forms.’
    • ‘An outside observer can only wonder what it takes to get the message across.’
    • ‘Since I came from an outside school, I had no idea about the situation of the tutors.’
    • ‘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
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    1. 2.1Beyond one's own immediate personal concerns.
      ‘I was able to face the outside world again’
      • ‘So events in the outside world don't really impact on things that are going on in the house.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in the world, hostage-taking still continues virtually unnoticed in the outside world.’
      • ‘Your husband's breakfast is vital if he is to face the outside world in a positive fashion.’
      • ‘My music got a lot better when I stopped concerning myself with outside influences.’
      • ‘Goalies are a breed who do not like to be told by the outside world how they should behave.’
      • ‘Usually people would gather around the set, eager for their one point of reliable contact with the outside world.’
      • ‘You seem to be the only one here with a view of the outside world.’
      • ‘The affairs of the town, the country and the outside world meant little to them.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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.’

adverb & preposition

  • 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’
    outdoors, out of doors, out of the house, on the outside, externally, exteriorly
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Not being a member of (a particular group)
      [as preposition] ‘those of us outside the university’
    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’
  • 2[preposition] Beyond the limits or scope of.

    ‘the high cost of shipping has put it outside their price range’


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?