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From Old English inneweard, corresponding to in +‎ -ward.



inward (comparative more inward, superlative most inward)

  1. Situated on the inside; that is within, inner; belonging to the inside. [from 9th c.]
  2. (obsolete) Intimate, closely acquainted; familiar. [16th-17th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, transl.; Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, printed at London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821:
      , II.3:
      There is nothing can be added unto the daintinesse of Fulvius wives death, who was so inward with Augustus.
    • Bible, Job xix. 19
      All my inward friends abhorred me.
    • Sir Philip Sidney
      He had had occasion, by one very inward with him, to know in part the discourse of his life.

Derived terms[edit]



inward (comparative more inward, superlative most inward)

  1. Towards the inside. [from 11th c.]
    So much the rather, thou Celestial Light, Shine inward. — Milton.



inward (plural inwards)

  1. (obsolete, chiefly in the plural) That which is inward or within; the inner parts or organs of the body; the viscera.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Jeremy Taylor to this entry?)
    • Milton
      Then sacrificing, laid the inwards and their fat.
  2. (obsolete, chiefly in the plural) The mental faculties.
  3. (obsolete) A familiar friend or acquaintance.
    • Shakespeare
      I was an inward of his.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for inward in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)