Intermural, intramural and extramural

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Intramural means operating within the walls of a single institution or community. In North America, intramural sports are competitions arranged within one school or institution. Intramural may also refer to a normal course of study at a university. In biology, intramural means within the walls of a body cavity or organ. Intramural is an adjective, the adverb form is intramurally.

Extramural means operating outside the walls, extramural sports would involve competitions with teams outside of your own institution or school. Extramural studies occur outside the normal course of study inside one’s university. In Britain, extramural studies may be arranged for those who or part-time students or outside of the mainstream of education. Extramural also means outside the boundary of a city or castle. Extramural is an adjective, the adverb form is extramurally.

Intermural is a word literally meaning between the walls, it is often mistakenly used when one means intramural.


Oregon intramural teams have divisions for males, females and co-ed leagues (minimum of two women on co-ed team). (The Oregon Daily Emerald)

If nothing else, this intramural brawl makes it ever clearer that congressional Republicans are incapable of governing themselves, much less the nation. (The New York Times)

The governor has stayed out of this intramural battle, at least publicly. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

“The intramural program had been in existence for one year before I came and when I got there I thought, with the recent growth of the community college system, an intercollegiate program might be possible,” Dunaway said. (The Tribune Review)

Researchers housed in the new building, or using its analytical facilities, brought in approximately $11.5 million in grants and extramural funding for fiscal 2015, according to the university. (The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Once, a few years ago, I set off across Old Havana with Estrada’s history of the city in hand, reading as I walked, crossing from the founding stones at the Plaza de Armas to the extramural, literally the outside-the-walls development of the modern metropolis. (Outside Magazine)