Definition of outward in US English:



  • 1Of, on, or from the outside.

    ‘the vehicle's outward and interior appearance’
    • ‘Attendees at auctions of collectibles are not known for any outward expression of enthusiasm.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The crisis resulted in a new round of economic reforms to increase foreign investment and liberalize trade and thus reinforced their outward orientation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Even worse than the interior feeling of alienation is the outward hostility shown to those with opposing political beliefs.’
    • ‘‘Fear societies’ are not only nasty to their own subjects but prone to outward aggression and thus dangerous.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The cell thus exerts outward pressure on its cell wall, and when all cells are maintaining this pressure, the plant gains rigidity.’
    • ‘Apes share some of the same expressions or at least outward manifestations as people.’
    • ‘And, although this is a very traditional boat in outward appearance, the interior looks nothing like your father's cruiser.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Though the current Mustang shares few outward similarities with Mustangs from the 1980s, the underlying platform has been in use since 1979.’
    • ‘He nodded faintly, his smirk the only outward sign of emotion.’
    • ‘To the casual observer Jake shows no outward signs of having spent 43 years in an institution.’
    1. 1.1 Relating to the external appearance of something rather than its true nature or substance.
      ‘an outward display of friendliness’
      • ‘There has been a lot said lately about a person's outward appearance being a true reflection of the inner being.’
      • ‘Despite their outward appearance the class had a deep respect for Mr. Maker, and none of them were sure why.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet the banana seems unmoved by that outward display of vanity.’
      • ‘Though just an anatomical study, it already foreshadowed the sculptor's later efforts to reveal the essence rather than merely copy outward appearances.’
      • ‘If the last twenty-five years had taught him anything it was that outward appearances were wholly untrustworthy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Both see the lasting truth beneath the surface of mere outward appearance.’
      • ‘I won't say absolutely so because, despite all outward appearances, we humans share a common nature.’
      • ‘However, this outward display of unity masked divisions between unions that became apparent during the consultation period.’
      • ‘They, from all outward appearances, are great girls.’
      • ‘By all outward appearances, things looked dead.’
      • ‘I was a first year medical student when I first realized that outward appearances occasionally belie the truth.’
      • ‘Rather, it has the outward appearance of a temple, but inside, it is a high-tech lab of unknown origin.’
      • ‘It may be theologically sound, but I am uncomfortable with the emphasis on outward form rather than true inner spiritual acceptance of the message.’
      • ‘It is the nature of man to look on the outward, but outward appearances can be deceiving.’
      • ‘All outward appearance of friendliness dropped from Kreed.’
      • ‘Spiritual advance came from the cultivation of appropriate attitudes rather than outward behaviour.’
      • ‘And we're guilty of looking on people's outward appearances but it's what's inside here that counts.’
      external, outer, outside, outermost, exterior
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2archaic Outer.
      ‘the outward physical body’
  • 2Going out or away from a place.

    ‘the outward voyage’
    • ‘In either case, there was no outward current through the channels during the depolarization.’
    • ‘The Great Depression temporarily slowed the outward migration, but it didn't change the yearnings of Americans.’
    • ‘An inward journey might be as effective and interesting as an outward journey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You can return with consecutive flights and regain the day lost on the outward journey.’


  • Away from the center or a particular point; toward the outside.

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


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