English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Late Middle English, from Medieval Latin externus (outward, external), from exter/exterus (on the outside, outward).

Pronunciation edit

Adjective edit

external (comparative more external, superlative most external)

  1. Outside of something; on the exterior.
    This building has some external pipework.
    1. (anatomy) Situated near or toward the surface of the body.
    2. (pharmacology, relational) Relating to or denoting a medicine or similar substance for use on the outside of the body.
  2. Capable of being perceived outwardly.
    1. Having merely the outward appearance of something.
      Synonym: superficial
    2. Not intrinsic or essential.
      Synonyms: accidental, accompanying; see also Thesaurus:extrinsic
  3. Provided by something or someone outside of the entity (object, group, company etc.) considered.
    external authority, external force
  4. Relating to or connected with foreign nations or institutions.
    external trade or commerce; the external relations of a state or kingdom
    Synonym: foreign
  5. Having existence independent of the mind.
    external reality
  6. (education) For or concerning students registered with and taking the examinations of a university but not resident there.
    external degrees
  7. (computing, of a hardware) Not contained in the main computer.
    Synonym: peripheral
  8. (computing, of storage) Using a disk or tape drive rather than the main memory.

Antonyms edit

Derived terms edit


Translations edit

Noun edit

external (plural externals)

  1. (usually in the plural) The exterior; outward features or appearances.
    1. Inessential or superficial features.
    2. Outward appearance.
  2. (programming, in the C language) A variable that is defined in the source code but whose value comes from some external source.

References edit

Further reading edit