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inner (adj.)

c. 1400, from Old English inra, comparative of inne (adv.) "inside" (see in (adv.)). Similar formation in Old High German innaro, German inner. The original order of comparison was in/inner/inmost; the evolution has been unusual for a comparative, and inner has not been used with than since Middle English.

Inner man "the soul" is from late Old English; as "the spiritual part of man" by late 14c. The Quaker inner light is attested by that name from 1833. Inner tube in the pneumatic tire sense is from 1894. Inner city is attested from 1690s; as a euphemism for "urban poverty and crime," from 1963.

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Definitions of inner from WordNet

inner (adj.)
located or occurring within or closer to a center;
an inner room
inner (adj.)
located inward; "Beethoven's manuscript looks like a bloody record of a tremendous inner battle"- Leonard Bernstein; "she thinks she has no soul, no interior life, but the truth is that she has no access to it"- David Denby; "an internal sense of rightousness"- A.R.Gurney,Jr.;
Synonyms: interior / internal
inner (adj.)
innermost or essential;
the inner logic of Cubism
Synonyms: internal / intimate
inner (adj.)
confined to an exclusive group;
privy to inner knowledge
Synonyms: inside / privileged
inner (adj.)
exclusive to a center; especially a center of influence;
inner circles of government
inner regions of the organization
inner (adj.)
inside or closer to the inside of the body;
the inner ear
From wordnet.princeton.edu