Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Located or occurring farther inside: an inner room; an inner layer of warm clothing.
  • adj. Less apparent; deeper: the inner meaning of a poem.
  • adj. Of or relating to the mind or spirit: "Beethoven's manuscript looks like a bloody record of a tremendous inner battle” ( Leonard Bernstein).
  • adj. More exclusive, influential, or important: the inner circles of government.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Being or occurring (farther) inside, situated farther in, located (situated) or happening on the inside of something, situated within or farther within contained within something (inner door, inner room, inner sanctum, inner surface).
  • adj. Close to the centre, located near or closer to center (the inner suburbs).
  • adj. Inside or closer to the inside of the body (inner ear).
  • adj. Of mind or spirit, relating to the mind or spirit, to spiritual or mental processes, mental, spiritual, relating to somebody's private feelings or happening in somebody's mind, existing as an often repressed part of one's psychological makeup (inner confidence, inner strength, inner life, inner child, inner artist, inner peace, inner light).
  • adj. Not obvious, private, not expressed, not apparent, hidden, less apparent, deeper, obscure, ; innermost or essential, needing to be examined closely or thought about in order to be seen or understood (inner meaning, inner resources, inner logic ).
  • adj. Privileged, more or most privileged, more or most influential, intimate, exclusive, more important, more intimate, private, secret, confined to an exclusive group, exclusive to a center; especially a center of influence being near a center especially of influence (inner circle, inner council ).
  • n. An inner part.
  • n. A forward who plays in or near the center of the field.
  • n. A thin glove worn inside batting gloves or wicket-keeping gloves.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Further in; interior; internal; not outward.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the spirit or its phenomena.
  • adj. Not obvious or easily discovered; obscure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Further inward; interior: as, an inner chamber; the inner court of a temple or palace: opposed to outer.
  • Inward; internal; not outward: as, to refresh the inner man, physically or spiritually.
  • In zoology and anatomy, lying nearer the median line.
  • Coming from within; inward; not loud; smothered, as if coming from far within.
  • Not obvious; dark; esoteric: as, an inner meaning.
  • Internal is opposed to external: as, the internal arrangements of a house; an internal injury; the internal fires of a volcano. Internal applies to all that is within the surface or boundary; interior generally applies to that which is at some distance within it: as, they pressed on into the interior districts. Intrinsic indicates that a quality is in or belongs to a person or thing by nature, as opposed to that which is extrinsic, or added in any way from without: the intrinsic worth of an honorary medal may be very small in proportion to the esteem in which it is held. See inherent.
  • n. The division of a target next to and outside of the center. See target.
  • n. A shot which strikes the inner of a target.
  • Further within.
  • n. One who takes in or reclaims land from water or marsh. See inning, 4.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. located inward
  • adj. inside or closer to the inside of the body
  • adj. exclusive to a center; especially a center of influence
  • adj. innermost or essential
  • adj. located or occurring within or closer to a center
  • adj. confined to an exclusive group

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English innera; see en in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Old English innera, comparative of inne ("within"), from Proto-Indo-European *in. (Wiktionary)

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