Definition of inner in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈinər/


1Situated inside or further in; internal: an inner courtyard the inner thigh
More example sentences
  • We pass through the arch and inside to the inner courtyard.
  • Ornate doorways offer glimpses of inner courtyards and enticing interiors; many are university buildings, but just as many are candlelit bistros and bars.
  • My legs are really sore today, stiff in places and ways I'm not used to… calves, inner thighs, quads, glutes and that crease just inside the hip at the top of the leg.
1.1Close to the center: the inner solar system
More example sentences
  • In recent years, Laganside Corporation has transformed the inner core of Belfast city centre, specifically along the Lagan river and in the surrounding area.
  • It is a shocking fact that despite the vast tracts of industrial wasteland in inner Glasgow the city now has a shortage of developable land.
  • In some inner London boroughs, 54% of children are living in poverty and this is simply unacceptable.
1.2Close to the center of power: the inner cabinet
More example sentences
  • This issue will provide the people of York with a chance to see if the new inner cabinet and scrutiny committees are any more effective in dealing with the siting of controversial Park and Ride sites than people power.
  • The extent of these divisions, however, made Major suspicious of his Cabinet colleagues and increasingly he began to rely upon an inner cabinet of policy advisors.
  • February 1986 - Yeltsin is made a candidate member of the politburo, the inner cabinet of the Soviet Union's ruling party.
privileged, restricted, exclusive, private, confidential, intimate
2Mental or spiritual: a test of inner strength
More example sentences
  • For others there may be even greater challenges when deep inner emotional and spiritual conflicts emerge.
  • ‘He has a mental strength and an inner conviction about his ability that I have come to admire,’ Ellis said.
  • Then a metaphor focusing on spiritual inner strength and age progression was introduced.
mental, intellectual, psychological, spiritual, emotional
2.1(Of thoughts or feelings) private and not expressed or discernible.
Example sentences
  • How much do you share your inner feelings or secrets with your best friend?
  • These wonderful complements would extend your inner thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, and your experiences.
  • His calm gaze masked inner feelings of frustrated anger.
hidden, secret, deep, underlying, unapparent;
veiled, unrevealed
2.2Denoting a concealed or unacknowledged part of a person’s personality: it’s time to get in touch with your inner geek join a choir and give voice to that inner diva who has been hidden away too long
More example sentences
  • When we finally realise our inner strength, we can make some progress.
  • Tell her to find her own inner beauty because you know it's there.


1The inner part of something: using his rock shoes as inners for his double boots
More example sentences
  • The Romans are documented wearing padding under their mailshirts which consisted of two layers of linen either side of a felt inner.
  • But once his gloves, pads, inners and headgear became unable to accommodate any more bespoke alterations, he turned his fussing towards his dietary requirements.
  • After a huge search, I finally found the cushion inners - everyone wants to sell ready-covered ones, but the uncovered versions are hard to find.
1.1(In archery and shooting) a division of the target next to the bullseye.
Example sentences
  • She cleared her magazine of bullets, taking aim and hitting three shots in the outer rings, two in the inner.
1.2A shot that strikes the inner.



( literary)
Example sentences
  • Yet, as important an issue as it is, students at SFU have been seemingly more innerly concerned than vocally opposed.
  • He slowed to a demented walk, cocking his head to glance up upon the walls of the buildings, stepping one innerly arched leg after the other, cautiously.
  • He took this to be a sign of appreciation in disguise, and he innerly thanked her for what she had said.


( literary)
Example sentences
  • This whole discussion has been revolving around it, at any rate, with its folktale content and consciousness, the innerness of it all, another hidden room compelled open by a key not material but oral.
  • I feel this innerness opened me to many experiences that more physically-oriented people might not encounter, at least with such intensity.
  • This reminder, however, brought her back to reality - instead of the innerness of her thoughts.


Old English innerra, innra, comparative of in.

  • utter from Old English:

    There are two utters in English. Old English, ūttra meaning ‘outer’, is the comparative of ūt ‘out’, just as inner is of in; it was in very frequent use in this sense from around 1400 to 1620 (Milton Paradise Lost: ‘Drive them out From all Heav'ns bounds into the utter Deep’). The sense ‘extreme, complete’ became very common from around 1515 (Shakespeare Henry VI, Part 1: ‘The utter losse of all the Realme’). The other utter is from Middle Dutch. An early, now obsolete use, was ‘put (goods) on to the market, sell’; later meaning ‘circulate (money) as legal tender’ and ‘publish’. The basic notion is one of ‘put forth’ which is carried over into the meaning ‘declare, speak’.

Words that rhyme with inner

beginner, Berliner, Corinna, dinner, grinner, Jinnah, sinner, skinner, spinner, thinner, winner

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ner

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