adjective ex·ter·nal \ek-ˈstər-nəl\

: located, seen, or used on the outside or surface of something

: coming from outside

: existing or occurring outside your mind

Full Definition of EXTERNAL

a :  capable of being perceived outwardly <external signs of a disease>
b (1) :  having merely the outward appearance of something :  superficial
(2) :  not intrinsic or essential <external circumstances>
a :  of, relating to, or connected with the outside or an outer part <the building's external features>
b :  applied or applicable to the outside <a lotion for external use>
a (1) :  situated outside, apart, or beyond; specifically :  situated near or toward the surface of the body (2) :  arising or acting from outside <an external force>
b :  of or relating to dealings or relationships with foreign countries
c :  having existence independent of the mind <external reality>
ex·ter·nal·ly \-nəl-ē\ adverb

Origin of EXTERNAL

Latin externus external, from exter — more at exterior
First Known Use: 1542



Definition of EXTERNAL

:  something that is external: as
a :  an outer part
b :  an external feature or aspect —usually used in plural

First Known Use of EXTERNAL

circa 1635

Rhymes with EXTERNAL

EXTERNAL Defined for Kids


adjective ex·ter·nal \ek-ˈstər-nəl\

Definition of EXTERNAL for Kids

:  situated on or relating to the outside :  outside
Medical Dictionary


adjective ex·ter·nal \ek-ˈstərn-əl\

Medical Definition of EXTERNAL

:  capable of being perceived outwardly :  bodily <external signs of a disease>
a :  situated at, on, or near the outside <an external protective covering> <an external muscle> b :  directed toward the outside :  having an outside object <external perception> <eyesight and the other external senses> c :  used by applying to the outside <an external lotion>
a (1) :  situated near or toward the surface of the body; also :  situated away from the mesial plane <the external condyle of the humerus> (2) :  arising or acting from outside :  having an outside origin <external causes> <external stimuli> b :  of, relating to, or consisting of something outside the mind :  having existence independent of the mind <sensations aroused by external phenomena> <external reality>
ex·ter·nal·ly \-əl-ē\ adverb
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