Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

on the outside - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

  1. 1
    used for talking about the way that someone or something seems to people, when this does not show what they are really like

    He may be cheerful on the outside, but that’s not how he feels.

    Things are a lot more complicated than they seem on the outside.

  2. 2
    used when describing the outer surface of something

    The steak was burned black on the outside, but inside it was still raw.

  3. 3
    not belonging to a particular group, or not working within a particular organization

    People on the outside find it difficult to understand how the stock market works.

  4. 4
    used for referring to what is happening outside a prison or institution when you are inside it

    Most of the patients could no longer remember what life on the outside was like.

See also main entry: outside


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play