Definition of internal in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtəːn(ə)l/


1Of or situated on the inside: the tube had an internal diameter of 1.1 mm
More example sentences
  • The ratio of the balloon external diameter to vessel wall internal diameter was 1.5-1.6.
  • Macerata was built on a hill with fortress-like walls and internal streets as confusing as a labyrinth, and today it still has many of those outer walls intact.
  • The external and internal dividing walls were the only substantial structural elements remaining in the fire-damaged section of the building.
inner, interior, inside, intramural;
central, middle
1.1Inside the body: internal bleeding
More example sentences
  • However, patients who have major duct injury may require internal drainage or pancreatic resection.
  • This allows exposure of the entire length of the superior compartment of the internal auditory canal without injury to the cochlear and vestibular labyrinth.
  • These responses can occur when materials containing latex come into contact with the skin, mucous membranes, or internal tissues.
inside, inner;
within the body, inside the body
1.2Existing or occurring within an organization: an internal telephone system
More example sentences
  • The report revealed cases of bullying and intimidation of members, who also felt they could achieve little remedy through the existing internal complaints system.
  • One of the more intractable outsourcing relationships is when one organization manages another's internal systems.
  • One suggestion already implemented was adding a subject line to the organization's internal messaging system.
domestic, home, interior, civil, local;
national, state;
in-house, in-company
1.3Relating to affairs and activities within a country rather than with other countries; domestic: internal flights
More example sentences
  • Decolonization was nearly complete so most insurgencies were internal struggles rather than wars of national liberation.
  • In a sense, the European Union has no internal policies.
  • Interference in the internal affairs of these nations now extends to demands of educational reform, and insistence on ‘democratisation’.
1.4Experienced in one’s mind; inner rather than expressed: internal feelings
More example sentences
  • The source of ideas is experience, the observation of external objects or of the internal operations of the mind, i.e. sensation or reflection.
  • Overclocking my brain, so that a mass of thoughts could present themselves on the internal television where my mind decides what to do.
  • Keep in mind that standards are internal; they are not something that you can or should push on to someone else.
mental, psychological, emotional;
personal, private, secret, hidden, intimate
1.5Of the inner nature of a thing; intrinsic: the party suffered from grave internal weaknesses
More example sentences
  • For Smith, then, nature becomes internal to capitalism in such a way that the very distinction implied by using these terms is eroded and undermined.
  • Disciplinary actions are internal to the police force and it is often difficult for the judiciary, but also for civil society, to monitor their implementation.
  • Not being here was internal to his impotence, if that makes sense, not that it would have made the slightest practical difference whether he were here or not.
2British (Of a student) attending a university as well as taking its examinations.
Example sentences
  • Staff on the Bicultural Committee can begin to implement this strategy for future intakes of internal students.


Inner parts or features: all the weapon’s internals are well finished and highly polished
More example sentences
  • A screw blower looks similar to a Roots from the outside, but the internals are completely different.
  • This completely replaces the rebound internals of your fork.
  • The device has also had its internals souped up and now features a 400MHz processor and 128Mb of memory.



Pronunciation: /ɪntəːˈnalɪti/
Example sentences
  • Each event is followed by a prompt for the child's attribution for the event, and then three questions assessing the dimensions of internality, stability, and globality for his/her particular attribution.
  • Especially important in these essays is the issue of cultural pluralism, which is palpable in each of the four sections dealing with identity, internality, women's views, and Algerians resident in France.
  • We can distinguish here between making the internality of adequacy a necessary condition of justification and making it sufficient for justification, along with the belief's being based on the ground in question.


Early 16th century (in the sense 'intrinsic'): from modern Latin internalis, from Latin internus 'inward, internal'.

Words that rhyme with internal

colonel, diurnal, eternal, external, fraternal, infernal, journal, kernel, maternal, nocturnal, paternal, supernal, vernal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|tern¦al

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.