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1. Located or occurring farther inside: an inner room; an inner layer of warm clothing.
2. Less apparent; deeper: the inner meaning of a poem.
3. Of or relating to the mind or spirit: "Beethoven's manuscript looks like a bloody record of a tremendous inner battle" (Leonard Bernstein).
4. More exclusive, influential, or important: the inner circles of government.
in′ner·ly adv. & adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.