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[in-er] /ˈɪn ər/
situated within or farther within; interior:
an inner door.
more intimate, private, or secret:
the inner workings of the organization.
of or relating to the mind or spirit; mental; spiritual:
the inner life.
not obvious; hidden or obscure:
an inner meaning.
Origin of inner
before 900; Middle English; Old English innera, comparative based on the adv. inne within, inside; see inmost, -er4
Related forms
innerly, adverb, adjective
innerness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for inner
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This rock in the inner crater was gray, pale and ghostly in the earthlight.

    The Finding of Haldgren Charles Willard Diffin
  • The inner gate had been closed for the night, so he lifted and went over the wall.

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • The Duke fumbled in an inner pocket, and dropped the memorandum into her hand.

    The Ghost Breaker Charles Goddard
  • The inner office was locked, but he had no difficulty in gaining admission.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • And the more is this true with regard to the study of these inner things.

    The Inner Consciousness Swami Prakashananda
British Dictionary definitions for inner


adjective (prenominal)
being or located further inside: an inner room
happening or occurring inside: inner movement
relating to the soul, mind, spirit, etc: inner feelings
more profound or obscure; less apparent: the inner meaning
exclusive or private: inner regions of the party
(chem) (of a compound) having a cyclic structure formed or apparently formed by reaction of one functional group in a molecule with another group in the same molecule: an inner ester
(archery) Also called red
  1. the red innermost ring on a target
  2. a shot which hits this ring
Derived Forms
innerly, adverb
innerness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for inner

c.1400, from Old English inra, comp. of inne (adv.) "inside" (see in). Cf. Old High German innaro, German inner. An unusual evolution for a comparative, it has not been used with than since Middle English. Inner tube in the pneumatic tire sense is from 1894. Inner city, in reference to poverty and crime, is attested from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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