Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: EDUCATION

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: externus, from exter 'on the outside', from ex 'out'

external

adjective
     
ex‧ter‧nal W2
1

outside part

relating to the outside of something or of a person's body [≠ internal]:
the external appearance of the building
For external use only (=written on medicines which must be put on your skin and not swallowed)
2

effect

relating to your environment or situation, rather than to your own qualities, ideas etc:
Low birth weight may be caused by external factors, such as smoking during pregnancy.
influences from the external environment
3

organization

coming from or happening outside a particular place or organization [≠ internal]:
information from external sources
4

foreign

relating to foreign countries [≠ internal]:
China will not tolerate any external interference in its affairs.
external affairs/relations
the Minister of External Affairs
5

independent

SE British English coming from outside a particular school, university, or organization, and therefore independent [≠ internal]
external auditors (=someone from outside who looks at an organization's finances)
externally adverb:
The job should be advertised internally and externally.
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