inside out


  1. on the inner side or part of; within: inside the circle; inside the envelope.
  2. prior to the elapse of; within: He promised to arrive inside an hour.


  1. in or into the inner part: Please go inside.
  2. indoors: They play inside on rainy days.
  3. within one’s heart, reason, etc.; by true nature; basically: I know inside that he’s not guilty. Inside, she’s really very shy.
  4. Slang. in prison.


  1. the inner or internal part; interior: the inside of the house.
  2. the inner side or surface: the inside of the hand; He pinned the money to the inside of his jacket.
  3. Usually insides. Informal. the inner parts of the body, especially the stomach and intestines: The coffee scalded my insides.
  4. a select or inner circle of power, prestige, etc.: a man on the inside.
  5. the shortest of several parallel, curving tracks or lanes; the part of an oval track closest to the inner rail: The horse came up fast on the inside.
  6. the inward nature, mind, feelings, etc.
  7. Slang. confidential or secret information.
  8. an inside passenger or place in a coach, carriage, etc.


  1. situated or being on or in the inside; interior; internal: an inside seat.
  2. acting, employed, done, or originating within a building or place: He used to work on the dock but now he has an inside job.
  3. derived from the inner circle of those concerned in and having private knowledge of a situation: inside information.
  4. Baseball. (of a pitched ball) passing between home plate and the batter: The pitch was low and inside.
  1. inside of, Informal. within the space or period of: Our car broke down again inside of a mile.
  2. inside out,
    1. with the inner side reversed to face the outside.
    2. thoroughly; completely: She knew the work inside out.

noun (ˈɪnˈsaɪd)

  1. the interior; inner or enclosed part or surface
  2. the side of a path away from the road or adjacent to a wall
  3. (also plural) informal the internal organs of the body, esp the stomach and bowels
  4. inside of in a period of time less than; within
  5. inside out with the inside facing outwards
  6. know something inside out to know something thoroughly or perfectly

preposition (ˌɪnˈsaɪd)

  1. in or to the interior of; within or to within; on the inside of

adjective (ˈɪnˌsaɪd)

  1. on or of an interior; on the insidean inside door
  2. (prenominal) arranged or provided by someone within an organization or building, esp illicitlythe raid was an inside job; inside information

adverb (ˌɪnˈsaɪd)

  1. within or to within a thing or place; indoors
  2. by nature; fundamentallyinside, he’s a good chap
  3. slang in or into prison

late 14c., ynneside “interior of the body,” compound of in (adv.) + side (n.). The adjective is 1610s, from the noun. Inside job “robbery, espionage, etc., committed by or with the help of a resident or servant of a place” is attested by 1887, American English (also, late 19c., early 20c., “indoors work”). Inside track “advantage” is metaphoric because those lanes are shorter on a curved track. Inside of, in reference to time, is from 1839.


With the inner surface turned out or revealed, as in He wore his shirt inside out. This expression dates from about 1600 and was soon used figuratively, as in He turned the verses inside out and revealed their hidden sense.


Extremely well, thoroughly, especially alluding to knowing something. For example, He knows this system inside out. [First half of 1900s]

In addition to the idioms beginning with inside

  • inside of
  • inside out
  • inside track, the

also see:

  • on the inside
  • step in (inside)

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