Also found in: Thesaurus.


1. Intimacy; familiarity.
2. Preoccupation with one's own thoughts or feelings; introspection.
3. The intrinsic or indispensable properties of something; essence.
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.


(ˈɪn wərd nɪs)

1. the state of being inward or internal.
2. depth of thought or feeling; introspection.
3. preoccupation with what concerns human inner nature; spirituality.
4. the fundamental or intrinsic character of something; essence.
5. inner meaning or significance.
6. intimacy.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.inwardness - the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience; "the gist of the prosecutor's argument"; "the heart and soul of the Republican Party"; "the nub of the story"
cognitive content, mental object, content - the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned
bare bones - (plural) the most basic facts or elements; "he told us only the bare bones of the story"
hypostasis - (metaphysics) essential nature or underlying reality
haecceity, quiddity - the essence that makes something the kind of thing it is and makes it different from any other
quintessence - the purest and most concentrated essence of something
stuff - a critically important or characteristic component; "suspense is the very stuff of narrative"
2.inwardness - preoccupation especially with one's attitudes and ethical or ideological values; "the sensitiveness of James's characters, their seeming inwardness"; "inwardness is what an Englishman quite simply has, painlessly, as a birthright"
cognitive state, state of mind - the state of a person's cognitive processes
outwardness - concern with outward things or material objects as opposed to the mind and spirit; "what is the origin of the outwardness of our sensations of sound, smell, or taste"; "an abstract conception with feelings of reality and spatial outwardness attached to it"
3.inwardness - the quality or state of being inward or internal; "the inwardness of the body's organs"
spatial relation, position - the spatial property of a place where or way in which something is situated; "the position of the hands on the clock"; "he specified the spatial relations of every piece of furniture on the stage"
externality, outwardness - the quality or state of being outside or directed toward or relating to the outside or exterior; "the outwardness of the world"
4.inwardness - preoccupation with what concerns human inner nature (especially ethical or ideological values); "Socrates' inwardness, integrity, and inquisitiveness"- H.R.Finch
otherworldliness, spiritism, spirituality, spiritualism - concern with things of the spirit
introversion - (psychology) an introverted disposition; concern with one's own thoughts and feelings
outwardness - a concern with or responsiveness to outward things (especially material objects as opposed to ideal concepts); "hearty showmanship and all-round outwardness"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in classic literature ?
Sir Nathaniel, as an old diplomatist, had a way of understanding, as if by foreknowledge, the true inwardness of things, and asked suddenly, but in a matter-of-fact, indifferent voice:
A few stragglers held their ground ten minutes longer, but when the girl began to wring the true inwardness out of the "cries of the wounded," they struck their colors and retired in a kind of panic.
"I'll tell you something more," he continued, just as it seemed he had finished, and just in time to interrupt Daughtry away from his third attempt to ferret out the true inwardness of the situation on the Mary Turner and of the Ancient Mariner's part in it.
And not until man-grown did I tell her the true inwardness of that disgraceful affair.
But I did not want to meditate very long on the inwardness of this peculiar episode.
What is to be noted is that even in London, having had time to take a reflective view, poor Flora was far from being certain as to the true inwardness of her violent dismissal.
As not affecting the inwardness of things, which it was Mrs Verloc's principle to ignore, this curiosity was excusable.
And then my eyes became opened to the inwardness of things and speeches the triviality of which had been so baffling and tiresome.
So Harvey came back to East Gloucester, and spent half a day explaining to an amused actress with a royal reputation on two seaboards the inwardness of the mistake she contemplated; and she admitted that it was justice, even as Disko had said.
The inwardness and mystery of this attachment drives men of every class to the use of emblems.
The view over the darkening lake failed to restore the stillness of that dreamy inwardness Wolfi had opened to her.
The ideological commitments of much influential twentieth-century scholarship on inner exile has rendered it an oddly stale area of German literary studies, not only because of the proximate historical question of what it meant to live and work under dictatorship, but also because of the contested status of "inwardness" as a meaningful human reality.