1. Of, relating to, or located within the limits or surface; inner.
2. Residing in or dependent on essential nature; intrinsic: the internal contradictions of the theory.
3. Located, acting, or effective within the body.
4. Of or relating to mental or spiritual nature: "An internal sense of righteousness dwindles into an external concern for reputation" (A.R. Gurney, Jr.)
5. Of or relating to the domestic affairs of a nation, group, or business.
[Middle English internall, from Old French internel, from Medieval Latin internālis, from Latin internus, from inter, within; see en in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
in′ter·nali·ty (-nălĭ-tē) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.