Share this entry

extern Line breaks: ex¦tern
Pronunciation: /ɪkˈstəːn/

Definition of extern in English:


1North American A non-resident doctor or other worker in a hospital.
Example sentences
  • Three weeks before the scheduled event, residents and externs are required to begin their search for a scientific article that answers clinical questions or raises innovative ideas.
  • I worked at the hospital with three more externs, shifting to a new section of the hospital each quarter.
  • In terms of skills, externs often function in a role similar to that of a nursing assistant.
1.1A student participating in a temporary training programme in a workplace: she worked as a judicial extern for two US federal judges
More example sentences
  • Each year up to six students will be chosen to work as paid summer externs.
  • This university program does not create an employment relationship between the extern and the sponsor.
  • What I and the two other externs didn't know was that each kitchen recruited and ‘bid’ for a particular extern.
2(In a strictly enclosed order of nuns) a sister who does not live exclusively within the enclosure and goes on outside errands.
Example sentences
  • In the miniature society of the cloister, numbering between ten and eleven sisters and an extern or two, her success meets some of the same responses a successful worldly artist would find.
  • The two other externs, whose duties often prevented them from having time for silent meditation, had also chosen to remain.
  • These three sisters are the externs at the convent of St. Teresa in Coimbra where Sister Lucia lived for 57 years.


[with object] SE Asian Back to top  
Banish (someone considered politically undesirable) from a region or district: he was externed for inciting communal tension in the city
More example sentences
  • He got bail in 2001 and lived in Surat for six months after being externed from Thane district by the court.
  • Probably externed from his native Tirunelveli district, he moved to Chennai with his wife and two young sons.
  • The chief instigators of communal riots in Kodgu, Jagdish Karanth, Pramod Muthalik, Bopayya, Devayya, Somesh and Sunil Subramani must be immediately arrested and externed.



Example sentences
  • Gawli, 53, returned to Mumbai in 2000 after three years of externment in Pune.
  • The forest people have also taken away our externment rules.
  • And depending on the nature of the crime, the police would invoke MCOC, MPDA (Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities Act) or initiate externment proceedings against them, depending on the severity of their offence.


Mid 16th century (as an adjective in the sense 'external'): from French externe or Latin externus, from exter 'outer'. The word was used by Shakespeare to mean 'outward appearance'; current noun senses date from the early 17th century.

Words that rhyme with extern

lady-fern • Vättern

Definition of extern in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources