Definition of outside in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /aʊtˈsʌɪd/
Pronunciation: /ˈaʊtsʌɪd/
1The external side or surface of something: record the date on the outside of the file
More example sentences
  • The inside was just about as nice looking as the outside for a police building.
  • The outsides of buildings are horrible facades of doom and brimstone and that gunky stuff that forms in your eye when you're sleepy.
  • A pair of peak-like chicken croquettes drizzled in yellow giblet gravy have extra-crunchy outsides and smooth white-meat insides.
outer/external surface, surface, exterior, outer side, case, skin, shell, crust, husk, covering, outer layer, sheath, facade, elevation, front, frontage
1.1The part of a path nearer to a road or further from a wall.
Example sentences
  • Before they can turn they are having to swerve to the outside lane to give themselves some place.
1.2The side of a bend or curve where the edge or surface is longer in extent.
Example sentences
  • With this loop you cannot tell which side is the inside and which is the outside.
outer/longer edge, edge, the long way round
1.3 (outsides) The outer sheets of a ream of paper.
1.4The external appearance of someone or something: was he as straight as he appeared on the outside?
More example sentences
  • He answered that it was only the outside which appeared different; people were the same everywhere.
  • I'll remember how she was even more beautiful on the inside than the outside.


Pronunciation: /ˈaʊtsʌɪd/
1Situated on or near the exterior or external surface of something: Anne put the outside lights on
More example sentences
  • Neither of its outside surfaces had touched anything but air during its creation.
  • The outside surface is polished nicely to give a classy look to a very practical tool.
  • Is an ear part of the inside or the outside of a body, and how can we distinguish its own inside and outside surfaces?
exterior, external, outer, outermost, outward, outdoor, out-of-doors
1.1(In hockey, soccer, and other sports) denoting positions nearer to the sides of the field: he played at outside left
More example sentences
  • Baxendell is still one of the most talented outside centres in the country.
  • Skipper Andy Baggett moves to outside centre, with Chris Malherbe on the left wing.
  • That last reference was perhaps a hint that Townsend will be given a game at outside centre to recover his confidence and form.
2Not belonging to or coming from within a particular group: the use of outside contractors will speed up the process
More example sentences
  • At the moment, highways maintenance is carried out by a mix of the council's own teams and outside contractors.
  • But Mr Blyth stressed it was a mistake by the outside contractors who printed the ballot forms.
  • There is abundant evidence that reveals the resistance to outside control that exists within the universities.
independent, consultant, consulting, hired, temporary, freelance, casual, visiting, non-resident, external, extramural, peripatetic;
extraneous, extrinsic, outward, alien, foreign
2.1Beyond one’s own immediate personal concerns: I was able to face the outside world again
More example sentences
  • My music got a lot better when I stopped concerning myself with outside influences.
  • Last year's tourist season was disappointing due to a number of outside factors beyond our control.
  • People who lack resilience tend to pin their problems on other people or outside events.

preposition& adverb

Pronunciation: /aʊtˈsʌɪd/
1Situated or moving beyond the confines or boundaries of: [as preposition]: there was a boy outside the door I stepped outside the marquee for a breather [as adverb]: the dog was still barking outside we ran outside
More example sentences
  • He was running towards a little boy outside an open door, down the hall.
  • The crowd was now situated right outside her door, with the Duke's coach not too far away.
  • The outside world usually stays outside or confined neatly in the TV box in the corner.
outdoors, out of doors, out of the house, on the outside, externally, exteriorly
1.1Not being a member of (a particular group): [as preposition]: critics outside the government
More example sentences
  • She warmly thanked the many members both in and outside the committee who have given sterling service over the year.
  • He knows full well that no one may refer to anyone outside the 120 members of this House.
  • The comments the member is referring to were made by a member outside the House.
1.2(In soccer, rugby, and other sports) closer to the side of the field than (another player): [as preposition]: Swift appeared outside him with the powerful Fallon overlapping on his left
More example sentences
  • The only home score came when full-back Leigh Hinton came up outside his winger to make the extra man.
2 [preposition] Beyond the limits or scope of: the switchboard is not staffed outside normal office hours
More example sentences
  • The suggestion for which the award is made is outside the scope of the employee's normal duties.
  • This venue provides substantial meals outside our price range but, with care, modest snacks are available.
  • Vague terms give no perspective on experiences outside the normal range.


Outside and outside of: is there any difference between the books have been distributed outside Europe and the books have been distributed outside of Europe? Broadly speaking, both have the same meaning, but the use of outside of is much commoner and better established in North American than in British English.



at the outside

(Of an estimate) at the most: every minute, or at the outside, every ninety seconds
More example sentences
  • It didn't take long, five minutes at the outside.
  • With only a handful of motions on the agenda, and most of them applicable to Saturday night's county convention in any event, my expectation is that Thursday night's business will be concluded in two hours at the outside.
  • That's $140 billion dollars a year, at the outside.

get outside of

British informal Eat or drink (something) heartily: we’ll get outside of some bacon and eggs

on the outside

Away from or not belonging to a particular group or institution.
Example sentences
  • As an only child growing up in Aberdeen, she remembers the sense of always being slightly on the outside.
  • Talk to someone on the outside, like other people in your family, a trusted teacher or another adult.

on the outside looking in

Excluded from a group or activity.
Example sentences
  • Most people would understand that we need to get an element of comfort because we are on the outside looking in.
  • The time is now critical for members of both parties to decide, once and for all, if they can again be part of the same household, or if maintaining their differences is worth the price of remaining forever on the outside looking in.
  • I used to be on the outside looking in, but now I am right in the middle of it, and I can see what it's all about.

an outside chance

A remote possibility.
Example sentences
  • She could ride next Sunday's women's road race, where she has an outside chance of a medal, or spend the week relaxing, and basking in some of the glory of her historic achievement.
  • There is still an outside chance that we might escape the dreaded drop but the statistics are firmly stacked against us and it will now take an exceptional effort to avoid the drop.
  • It now means his lead is down to 30 points over us, and there are five races to go, so it gives us an outside chance.
slight, slender, slim, small, tiny, faint, negligible, marginal, remote, distant, vague, unlikely, improbable;

outside of

chiefly North American
Beyond the boundaries of: a village 20 miles outside of New York
More example sentences
  • The site is in the Green Belt, and outside of any defined development boundary.
6.1Apart from: outside of an unfortunate sermon, he never put a foot wrong
More example sentences
  • Stop thinking the day is about anything outside of religion besides having a good time.
  • This means that members of the public will have to use the park's public toilets outside of these hours.
  • He accepts that, outside of a handful of top flight clubs, few will have his take-home pay.

Words that rhyme with outside

abide, applied, aside, astride, backslide, beside, bestride, betide, bide, bride, chide, Clyde, cockeyed, coincide, collide, confide, cried, decide, divide, dried, elide, five-a-side, glide, guide, hide, hollow-eyed, I'd, implied, lied, misguide, nationwide, nide, offside, onside, outride, pan-fried, pied, pie-eyed, pitch-side, popeyed, pride, provide, ride, Said, shied, side, slide, sloe-eyed, snide, square-eyed, starry-eyed, statewide, Strathclyde, stride, subdivide, subside, tide, tried, undyed, wall-eyed, wide, worldwide

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: out|side

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.