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Alternative forms[edit]


From out +‎ side.


  • (adjective): enPR: outʹsīd, IPA(key): /ˈaʊt.saɪd/
    • (file)
    • (file)
    • (file)
  • (adverb, noun, preposition): enPR: out-sīdʹ, IPA(key): /aʊtˈsaɪd/
  • Rhymes: -aɪd


outside (plural outsides)

  1. The part of something that faces out; the outer surface.
    He's repainting the outside of his house.
    • 1653, François Rabelais, “The Author's Prologue to the First Book”, in Thomas Urquhart, transl., Gargantua:
      Silenes of old swere little boxes, like those we now may see in the shops of apothecaries, painted on the outside with wanton toyish figures, as harpies, satyrs, bridled geese, horned hares, saddled ducks, flying goats, thiller harts, and other such-like counterfeited pictures at discretion, ...
    • 1890, Jacob A[ugust] Riis, “The Common Herd”, in How the Other Half Lives: Studies among the Tenements of New York, New York, N.Y.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, →OCLC, page 159:
      The outside of the building gives no valuable clew.
    • 1911, Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, Cab:
      The number of persons which the cab is licensed to carry must be painted at the back on the outside.
    • 1950 February, W. Dendy, “Impressions of the Indian Railways—3”, in Railway Magazine, page 120:
      Third-class carriages are grossly overcrowded, with passengers lying on the luggage racks, standing between the benches, and occasionally even riding on the footboards and clinging to the outsides of the coaches for short distances.
  2. The external appearance of someone or something.
    Her outside was stern, but inside was a heart of gold.
  3. The space beyond some limit or boundary.
    Viewed from the outside, the building seemed unremarkable.
  4. The furthest limit, as to number, quantity, extent, etc.
    It may last a week at the outside.
  5. The part of a road towards the central division: towards the right if one drives on the left, or towards the left if one drives on the right.
    On a motorway, you should always overtake other vehicles on the outside.
  6. The side of a curved road, racetrack etc. that has the longer arc length; the side of a racetrack furthest from the interior of the course or some other point of reference.
    On the final bend, the second-place car tried to go around the outside of the leader but spun off into the barrier.
  7. (surfing) The outer part of the sea, away from the peak of a wave.
    • 2011, Rick Hansen, Leadership and The Art of Surfing, page xi:
      When a wave mounds on the outside and takes its shape, a surfer quickly paddles to the peak, positions himself in its evolving momentum, swings his board around, aligns with the peak, and thrusts himself into its cascading shape.
  8. (dated, UK, colloquial) A passenger riding on the outside of a coach or carriage.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Rarely used with an.



outside (comparative more outside, superlative most outside)

  1. Of or pertaining to the outer surface, limit or boundary.
    The outside surface looks good.
    • 1901, Miles Franklin, “Disjointed Sketches and Grumbles”, in My Brilliant Career, Edinburgh, London: William Blackwood and Sons, →OCLC, page 25:
      Household drudgery, wood-cutting, milking, and gardening soon roughen the hands and dim the outside polish.
    • 1921, Ernest Leopold Ahrons, Steam Locomotive Construction and Maintenance:
      The tyres, which come from the steel manufacturers, are rolled without weld. They are bored inside to an internal diameter slightly less than the outside diameter of the wheel centre, on to which they have to be shrunk, the allowance being about 11000 of the diameter of the wheel centre.
  2. Of, pertaining to or originating from beyond the outer surface, limit or boundary.
  3. Away from the interior or center of something.
    • 2003, Timothy Noakes, Lore of Running, Human Kinetics, →ISBN, page 731:
      As the centripetal force is an inverse function of the radius of the curve, it follows that the runner in the outside lane will be less affected than the runner in the inside lane.
  4. Originating from, arranged by, or being someone outside an organization, group, etc.
    The Board did not trust outside information about their rivals.
    • 1968, Barney G. Glaser, Organizational Careers, Transaction Publishers, →ISBN, page 23:
      Positions in organizations are being vacated continually through death and retirement, promotion and demotion. Replacements may be drawn from the outside ("an outside man") or from within the organization.
  5. Extending or going beyond the borders or scope of an organization, group, etc.
    • 2004, Viktor Zander, Identity and Marginality among New Australians: Religion and Ethnicity in Victoria's Slavic Baptist Community, Walter de Gruyter, →ISBN, page 88:
      Although a marriage to "one of ours" was encouraged, an outside marriage was not condemned if it would be to a believer of a similar faith. Some of the immigrants' children married Australians and joined Australian Churches.
  6. (baseball, of a pitch) Away (far) from the batter as it crosses home plate.
    The first pitch is ... just a bit outside.
  7. Reaching the extreme or farthest limit, as to extent, quantity, etc; maximum.
    an outside estimate
  8. (chiefly UK) Positioned towards the central division of a road: towards the right-hand side if one drives on the left, or left-hand side if one drives on the right.
    the outside lane of the motorway
  9. (chiefly US) Positioned towards the shoulder of a road: towards the left-hand side if one drives on the left, or right-hand side if one drives on the right.
    the outside lane of the highway
  10. (of a person) Not legally married to or related to (e.g. not born in wedlock to), and/or not residing with, a specified other person (parent, child, or partner); (of a marriage, relationship, etc) existing between two such people. (Compare out of wedlock, nonresidential.)
    Antonym: inside
    • 1994, Caroline H. Bledsoe, Gilles Pison, Nuptiality in Sub-Saharan Africa: contemporary anthropological and demographic perspectives, Oxford University Press, USA:
      Isaac Nathan's Christian wife served as godmother to his outside son, born after their Christian marriage. She allowed the boy, but not his mother, to live with her, her husband, and their two children.
    • 2008, Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen, Polygamy: A Cross-Cultural Analysis, A&C Black, →ISBN, page 158:
      An 'outside wife' has limited social recognition and status because her husband typically refuses to declare her publicly as his wife. She also has much less social and politico-jural recognition than an 'inside wife' [...]
    • 2009, Marjorie Keniston McIntosh, Yoruba women, work, and social change (Indiana Univ. Pr.):
      The legitimacy and inheritance rights of children were questionable, because colonial law did not acknowledge the validity of an outside marriage contracted after a monogamous, Christian one.
    • 2013, John C.S. Fray, Janice G Douglas, Pathophysiology of Hypertension in Blacks, Springer, →ISBN, page 78:
      A husband will thus have responsibilities to his own household, as well as to those in which his “outside” children reside.
    • 2014, Mary Jo Maynes, Ann Waltner, Birgitte Soland, Gender, Kinship and Power, page 256:
      The latter is her “outside” child in reference to her conjugal tie at the time. Should she leave this man and move in again with the father of her first child, then the three younger children assume the place of “outside” children, [...]
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:outside.


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outside (comparative more outside, superlative most outside)

  1. To or in the outdoors or outside; to or in an area that is beyond the scope, limits, or borders of a given place.
    I am going outside.
    Residents of the city rarely ventured outside.
    1. (colloquial) Not in prison.
      • 1964, Merfyn Turner, A Pretty Sort of Prison, page 15:
        It is the prison that supports the image of the criminal [] he's lost when he's outside.
  2. Outdoors.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 14, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, →OCLC:
      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.
    I slept outside last night.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. On the outside of, not inside (something, such as a building).
    • 1919 June 28, the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, Treaty of Versailles, Part IV—German Rights and Interests outside Germany,
      In territory outside her European frontiers as fixed by the present Treaty, Germany renounces all rights, titles and privileges whatever in or over territory which belonged to her or to her allies, and all rights, titles and privileges whatever their origin which she held as against the Allied and Associated Powers.
    • 1905, Upton Sinclair, chapter XXVIII, in The Jungle, New York, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, published 26 February 1906, →OCLC:
      Jurgis waited outside and walked home with Marija.
    • 1982, 97th Congress of the United States, Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982:
      There is jurisdiction over an offense under section 601 committed outside the United States if the individual committing the offense is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act).
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Hepaticology, outside the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere, still lies deep in the shadow cast by that ultimate "closet taxonomist," Franz Stephani—a ghost whose shadow falls over us all.
  2. Beyond the scope, limits, or borders of.
    tourists from outside the country
  3. Near, but not in.
    • 1898, H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds:
      Up the hill Richmond town was burning briskly; outside the town of Richmond there was no trace of the Black Smoke.
    • 2002, Jane Green, Bookends, 2003 trade paperback edition, →ISBN, outside back cover:
      Jane Green [] lives outside New York City with her husband and children.
    • 2010 December, Patricia Corrigan, "Beyond Congregations", OY! (magazine section), St. Louis Jewish Light, volume 63, number 50, page 24:
      Kastner lives in University City with his wife, Leslie Cohen, who works for the Jewish Federation, and their 17-month-old old[sic] son. Kastner grew up outside Cleveland.
  4. (usually with “of”) Except, apart from.
    Outside of winning the lottery, the only way to succeed is through many years of hard work.


Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


outside (third-person singular simple present outsides, present participle outsiding, simple past and past participle outsided)

  1. (transitive) To ostracize or exclude.
    • 2010, Julie Hanlon Rubio, Family Ethics: Practices for Christians, page 153:
      Alison affirms that the kingdom of God does not rely on the sort of “outsiding” that most people find necessary to affirm identity. Keenan, echoing this claim, writes, “While the rest of humanity finds its identity in excluding, Jesus works for a sense of inclusiveness that defines him and, hopefully, us.”
    • 2018, Shraddha Chatterjee, Queer Politics in India: Towards Sexual Subaltern Subjects:
      While the queer subject is outsided by the norm of reproductive heterosexuality, it feels its material effects and affects, even embodies this outsided-ness; []

Derived terms[edit]

Terms derived from outside (all parts of speech)