Old English utweard "to or toward the outside, external" (of an enclosure, a surface, etc.), earlier utanweard, from ute, utan "outside" (from ut; see out) + -weard (see -ward). Compare Old Frisian utward, Old High German uzwertes, German auswärts. Related: Outwardly; outwardness. Outwards, with adverbial genitive, was in Old English.
Meaning "externally apparent, outwardly shown, so as to be exterior or visible" is from late 14c. Of persons, in reference to the external appearance (usually opposed to inner feelings), it is attested from c. 1500. As an adverb, "on the outside," in Old English (utaword); also "away from or out of place or position" (late 13c.).
Outward-bound "directed on a course out from home port" is recorded from c. 1600; with capital initials, it refers to a sea school founded in 1941. Outward man (1520s), in theology refers to "the body," as opposed to the soul or spirit.