Definitions

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

  • adv. On the outside: a sturdy structure within and without.
  • adv. With something absent or lacking: had to do without.
  • prep. Not having; lacking: a family without a car.
  • prep. Not accompanied by; in the absence of: volunteered without hesitation; spoke without thinking.
  • prep. At, on, to, or toward the outside or exterior of: standing without the door.
  • n. An outer position, place, or area: a threat to security that came from without.
  • conj. Regional Unless: "You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” ( Mark Twain).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. outside, externally
  • adv. Lacking something.
  • prep. Outside of, beyond
  • prep. Not having, containing, characteristic of, etc.
  • conj. Unless, except (introducing a clause).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. On or art the outside; not on the inside; not within; outwardly; externally.
  • adv. Outside of the house; out of doors.
  • conj. Unless; except; -- introducing a clause.
  • prep. On or at the outside of; out of; not within.
  • prep. Out of the limits of; out of reach of; beyond.
  • prep. Not with; otherwise than with; in absence of, separation from, or destitution of; not with use or employment of; independently of; exclusively of; with omission.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • On or as to the outside; outwardly; externally.
  • Out of doors; outside, as of a room or a house.
  • As regards external acts or the outer life; externally.
  • Outside of; at or on the exterior or outside of; external to; out of: opposed to within: as, without the walls.
  • Out of the limits, compass, range, reach, or powers of; beyond.
  • Lacking; destitute of; exempt or free from; unconnected with; independent of: noting loss, absence, negation, privation, etc.: as, to be without money; to do without sleep; without possibility of error; without harm.
  • In colloquial language the object is frequently omitted after this preposition, especially in such phrases as to do without, to go without: as, they can give me no assistance, so I must do without.
  • Without is sometimes used to govern a substantive clause introduced by that, without that thus signifying unless, except; and then, the that being omitted, it obtains the value of a conjunction (like because, while, since, etc.) in the same sense; but it is now rarely, if ever, used thus by careful and correct speakers and writers.

Etymologies

Middle English withoute, from Old English withūtan : with, with; see with + ūtan, from without (from ūt, out; see out).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Late Old English wiþūtan. with- +‎ out (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • "What did I tell you," he said, without looking up, "would happen the next time you spoke without&"

    Rosetta

  • The projector, therefore, without mentioning the offers that have been made to him by a foreign maritime power, and _without courting_ the suffrages of British merchants in support of this plan, has it in contemplation, (_provided no attention is paid to it in England_,) to lay this eligible scheme open to a foreign power.

    An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa

  • Sherman was gone, could do all that might be necessary to remove the difficulties which seemed to them so serious, the terms as written by me were agreed to, as General Sherman says, "without hesitation," and General Johnston, "without difficulty," and after being copied _without alteration_ were signed by the two commanders.

    Forty-Six Years in the Army

  • He says, not only was the extraction accomplished without pain, but the inhalation of the gas was effected without any of those indications of excitement, or attempts at muscular exertion, which do commonly obtain when the gas is administered _without a definite object or previous mental preparation_.

    The International Magazine, Volume 2, No. 3, February, 1851

  • It was also found, that one of these circles, containing six or eight children only, could move within the other when it contained a larger number, without those in the one interfering in the least with those of the other; and the effect became still more imposing when _between_ these, and _without_ them, two other bands of children joined hands, united in the song, and moved round in opposite directions.

    A Practical Enquiry into the Philosophy of Education

  • 'No. XIII -- How to make such false decks as in a moment should kill and take prisoners as many as should board the ship, without blowing the real decks up, or destroying them from being reducible; and in a quarter of an hour's time should recover their former shape, and to be made fit for any employment, _without discovering the secret_.'

    The Continental Monthly, Vol 3 No 3, March 1863 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • How fortunate he had been to come upon Enid alone and talk to her without interruption, —without once seeing Mrs. Royce’s face, always masked in powder, peering at him from behind a drawn blind.

    II. Book Two: Enid

  • One saw here a third-rate town of half-a-million people without history, education, unity, or art, and with little capital; —without even an element of natural interest except the river which it studiously ignored; —but doing what London, Paris, or New York would have shrunk from attempting.

    Vis Nova (1903–1904)

  • What! There is no function without an organ, nor can the function even _exist without_ the organ; and yet, on the other hand, the function without the organ can exist so vigorously as to

    Spontaneous Activity in Education

  • The evil done by man falls upon his own head, without making any change in the system of the world, —without hindering the human species from being preserved in spite of themselves.

    Paras. 50-99

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Comments

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  • "Other people may believe what it pleases them to believe, but I will do nothing without I know the reason why and know it clearly." – Dirk Gently, "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams

    April 13, 2009

  • As in opposite of 'within'. Outside.

    February 22, 2008

  • December 4, 2006