from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The collective of things that are distinct from the observer.
  • n. The property of being distinct.
  • n. The extent to which someone, particularly a lesbian, is open about her sexuality.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state of being out or beyond; separateness.
  • n. The state or quality of being distinguishable from the perceiving mind, by being in space, and possessing material quality; externality; objectivity.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The state of being out or beyond; separateness.
  • n. Hence In metaphysics, the state of being out of, and distinguishable from, the perceiving mind, and not merely from the ego or subject; externality.


Possibly coined by George Berkeley for his 1709 Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (Wiktionary)
Popularised by Lynne Pearlman in her 1989 thesis Theorizing Lesbian Oppression and the Politics of Outness in the Case of Waterman v. National Life Assurance (Wiktionary)



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