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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English outre, outer, outter, uttre, from Old English ūtre, ūtera, ūterra (outer), equivalent to out +‎ -er. Compare German äußere (outer), Danish ydre (outer), Swedish yttre (outer), Icelandic ytri (outer).


outer (comparative (rare) outermore, superlative outermost)

  1. Outside; external.
  2. Farther from the centre of the inside.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess[1]:
      Nanny Broome was looking up at the outer wall. Just under the ceiling there were three lunette windows, heavily barred and blacked out in the normal way by centuries of grime. Their bases were on a level with the pavement outside, a narrow way which was several feet lower than the road behind the house.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


outer (plural outers)

  1. An outer part.
    • 2015 February 7, Val Bourne, “The quiet man of the world of snowdrops”, in The Daily Telegraph (London), page G8:
      'Phil Cornish' [a snowdrop variety] is like a cross between a pixie hat and a pagoda, with elegant upswept outers [outer petals] marked in a green colour-wash at the top and warpaint slashes at the lower end.
  2. (sports) An uncovered section of the seating at a stadium or sportsground.
  3. (military, firearms) The fourth circle on a target, outside the inner and magpie.
  4. A shot which strikes the outer of a target.
  5. (retail) The smallest single unit sold by wholesalers to retailers, usually one retail display box.
    We ordered two cartons with twelve outers in each.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

out (verb) +‎ -er (agent suffix)


outer (plural outers)

  1. Someone who admits to something publicly.
  2. Someone who outs another.
    • 2002, Simon Gage, Lisa Richards, Howard Wilmot, Queer: The Ultimate User's Guide, page 88:
      From the early 90s, these were some of the fiercest debates raging in the gay press and in gay and straight bars worldwide as blabbermouths blabbed, sometimes just for the sheer hell of it, and gay celebrities ran for cover or bit the bullet and pipped the outers to the post.
  3. One who puts out, ousts, or expels.
  4. An ouster; dispossession.
  5. (UK politics) One who supports leaving the European Union.
    • 2013 January 25, Jon Cruddas, “Au Revoir, Europe: What If Britain Left the EU? by David Charter”, in The Independent[2]:
      The 51.4 per cent to 48.6 per cent victory of the "outers" broke the back of the Labour government.
    • 2015 May 7, Guy Faulconbridge, “Britain's EU "outers" see opportunity in wake of Greece's "No"”, in Reuters[3]:
    • 2016 February 16, Robert Shrimsley, “Gimme a Brexit break”, in Financial Times[4]:
      Meanwhile, outers are disporting themselves on TV in luminous green ties, hand-woven by first years at the Dronefield Academy for the Sartorially Challenged.


Derived terms[edit]

all terms containing "outer", regardless of meaning and etymology


  • (One who supports leaving the EU): inner