I am looking for a word or an expression (or a way to describe) all spaces that are not outdoor or in open air, such as:

  • buildings
  • tunnels
  • caves
  • mazes

Basically anything with walls :).

Options I considered:

  • indoor -- suitable mostly for man-made spaces and it doesn't go well with natural tunnels or caves.
  • confined spaces -- it is too restrictive; I want to convey the idea of a space you can explore.

Is there such a word or expression ?


2 Answers 2


Perhaps you are looking for "interior"

in·te·ri·or ˌinˈtirēər

adjective 1. situated within or inside; relating to the inside; inner. "the interior lighting is not adequate"

noun 1. the inner or indoor part of something, especially a building; the inside. "six men painting the outside of her house and three men painting the interior"

Alternate: Internal

EDIT: Courtesy of ColleenV in the comments.

It's definitely context dependent though, it can mean "away from the coast". So, "the African interior" doesn't mean all of the indoor/enclosed spaces in Africa.

So be sure to check the context of the word before you use it. The same applies for "internal."

  • 1
    It's definitely context dependent though, because it can mean "away from the coast". So, "the African interior" doesn't mean all of the indoor/enclosed spaces in Africa. Internal I don't think is a good alternate. If I think of the "internal" parts of a building I think of between the walls and the spaces that aren't for people to occupy.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:22
  • Most words have multiple meanings depending on context. I agree that "internal" is a bit weird as well, but it was something that got me close. But interior works decently for a maze, cave, building and tunnel. If used in the context they are referencing, it should make sense, which I believe to be the important part. Mar 29, 2016 at 19:26
  • I wasn't criticizing - I just like to point out potential issues with meanings or nuances that learners could run into. A learner could think 'African interior' would be the same thing as "all the interior spaces in Africa" when they come across it, or that "internal decorating" means the same thing as "interior decorating".
    – ColleenV
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:35
  • Ah I see. That comment was primarily for the OP wasn't it? I'm a bit new to this specific SE so I'm use to comments being used a bit differently. I appreciate the clarification. I'll add an edit to the bottom with your addition. Mar 29, 2016 at 20:39
  • ELL is a "kinder, gentler" SE site :) We have a lot more discussion in comments because English is so diverse and has so many "yes, except for this case..." or "that's not how we say it in the UK" type instances and we're trying to communicate in a language that half of our community isn't completely fluent in. My comment was partly for the OP, but also for other learners looking at your answer.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 29, 2016 at 20:45

I was going to say "covered spaces", but an outdoor maze would not fit that.

Maybe "walled spaces"?

But I still think "covered spaces" fits both indoor and outdoor spaces.

  • 1
    +1 for walled. They all have walls, mazes, tunnels, caves, buildings.
    – TimR
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:34

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