Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Located or occurring farther inside.
  • adjective Less apparent; deeper.
  • adjective Of or relating to the mind or spirit.
  • adjective More exclusive, influential, or important.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Further within.
  • 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.
  • noun The division of a target next to and outside of the center. See target.
  • noun A shot which strikes the inner of a target.
  • noun One who takes in or reclaims land from water or marsh. See inning, 4.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Further in; interior; internal; not outward.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to the spirit or its phenomena.
  • adjective Not obvious or easily discovered; obscure.
  • adjective (Scot.) the first and second divisions of the court of Session at Edinburgh; also, the place of their sittings.
  • adjective (Naut.) a fore-and-aft sail set on a stay running from the fore-topmast head to the jib boom.
  • adjective (Arch.) the wall plate which lies nearest to the center of the roof, in a double-plated roof.
  • adjective (Naut.) a piece brought on at the fore side of the main post, to support the transoms.
  • adjective (Carp.) the angle formed by the inner edges of a carpenter's square.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective 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).
  • adjective Close to the centre, located near or closer to center (the inner suburbs).
  • adjective Inside or closer to the inside of the body (inner ear).
  • adjective 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).
  • adjective 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 ).
  • adjective 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 ).
  • noun An inner part.
  • noun A forward who plays in or near the center of the field.
  • noun cricket A thin glove worn inside batting gloves or wicket-keeping gloves.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English innera; see en in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Old English innera, comparative of inne ("within"), from Proto-Indo-European *in.

Examples

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  • "My pen is there always — as inner dreams."

    Not convinced?

    December 1, 2007