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inner circle

A small, exclusive, and intimate group of like-minded people sharing a common goal, pursuit, or purpose. After nearly 20 years working for the company, I was finally brought into the board of directors' inner circle. John, Samantha, Mary, and I are kind of the inner circle of our wider group of friends.
See also: circle, inner

inner core

The innermost part of something. The term is used both literally and figuratively. What is the Earth's inner core made of? At his inner core, he's a good person, I just know it.
See also: core, inner

inner strength

One's resolve or determination. You have to draw on your inner strength—it will carry you through an experience like this.
See also: inner, strength

the inner man/woman

One's inner thoughts, conscience, mind, or spirit. Spending time away from technology and the hustle of the city does wonders for the inner woman. It's important to spend time cultivating the inner man, not just the man presented to the outside world.
See also: inner, man, woman

the ˌinner ˈman/ˈwoman

1 your mind or soul: Prayer and meditation are good for the inner man.
2 (humorous) your appetite: It’s time to do something for the inner man; let’s look for a restaurant.
See also: inner, man, woman
References in classic literature ?
Beneath this they wore only a loin cloth of the same material, while their feet were shod with thick hide of some mammoth creature of this inner world.
That march may have occupied nine years and eleven months of the ten years that I spent in the inner world, or it may have been accomplished in the fraction of a second--I cannot tell.
As the inner passages to the two caves were so close to each other, Duncan, believing that escape was no longer possible, passed David and the sisters, to place himself between the latter and the first onset of the terrible meeting.
Some days it can be really hard to keep your Inner Beauty message strong.
This year's Inner City 100 winners are located in inner cities, but their performance ranks them among the best-performing companies operating from any location, including central business districts," said Initiative for a Competitive Inner City President and CEO Dorothy Terrell.
AWARD-WINNING Liverpool company Shokoya Eleshin Construction has travelled to Boston, USA, to lay the foundations of a gobal network of inner city business.
Her role ebbed early in this century as the industrial economy provided middle-class incomes to rising numbers of black men; now it's resurgent in the inner cities, where male breadwinners are a dwindling presence since so many middle class families have departed.