extroversion

noun

ex·​tro·​ver·​sion ˌek-strə-ˈvər-zhən How to pronounce extroversion (audio)
-shən
variants or extraversion
psychology : the state of or tendency toward being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self : a personality trait or style characterized by a preference for or orientation to engaging socially with others

Note: The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung first introduced the terms extroversion, extrovert, introversion, and introvert in the early 1900s to describe personality types that focus a person's energy on either the inner or outer world.

Extroversion focuses on any feelings of joy associating with others. Gregarious individuals enjoy large groups and the social aspects of any situation.Melinda L. Korzaan and Katherine T. Boswell
Extroversion is characterized by being outgoing and drawing energy from interacting with others …James M. Honeycutt
Wisconsin ranked among the top five states in America for "extraversion"—a trait associated with those who are sociable, energetic and enthusiastic …Bill Glauber
compare introversion sense 2

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Our culture typically values extroversion over introversion, and that’s especially prevalent during the holiday season. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 17 Dec. 2022 My patient John, a 21-year-old college student, exemplifies this evolution into extroversion. Naomi Weinshenker, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2021 Your charisma, extroversion, spunk and eagerness to make everyone around you feel safe, welcomed and included. Dallas News, 4 July 2022 The test relies on the premise of four categories: introversion or extroversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving. Carla Delgado, Discover Magazine, 21 Dec. 2021 Participants also filled out a scale measuring trait extroversion. Mark Travers, Forbes, 18 Mar. 2022 The research, published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, found declines in extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness among adults, with the most dramatic shifts displayed in people under 30. Jacquelyne Germain, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 Sep. 2022 But from 2021 to 2022, adults ages 64 and under saw declines in extroversion, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness. Aria Bendix, NBC News, 28 Sep. 2022 This is just what psychologists did in the 1990s to define their five major domains of human personality: openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, and neuroticism. WIRED, 3 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'extroversion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from German Extraversion, probably alteration, by change of extro- to Latin extrā extra-, of Extroversion "turning outward (of an organ, as the bladder)," borrowed from New Latin extrōversiōn-, extrōversiō, noun of action from extrōvertere "to turn outward," from extrō- extro- + Latin vertere "to turn" — more at worth entry 4, version

Note: Both Extraversion and its counterpart Introversion were introduced into psychology by Carl jung, apparently in the second decade of the twentieth century. The words occur in the text of a presentation given by Jung at a meeting of the International Psychoanalytical Congress in Munich (September 7-8, 1913), published in French in the same year ("Contribution à l'étude des types psychologiques," Archives de psychologie, tome 13 [1913], p. 290.) Introversion and the adjective introvertiert "introverted" appear earlier, in a somewhat different sense, in Jung's Über Konflikte der kindischen Seele (Leipzig/Vienna, 1910, pp. 6, 10). The above etymology assumes that Jung had in mind an already existing word, but he could have equally well formed Extraversion by substituting the prefix extra- for other prefixes joined to -version, taken as an independent formative. The choice of extra-, which ordinarily means "beyond," seems peculiar, and has led to re-formations of the word in English as extroversion, with extro- taken to mean "outward." On the other hand, extro- is a neologism made up as a correspondent to intro-, with no correspondent in classical Latin; perhaps this is why Jung avoided it.

First Known Use

1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of extroversion was in 1917

Dictionary Entries Near extroversion

Cite this Entry

“Extroversion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/extroversion. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition

extroversion

noun
ex·​tro·​ver·​sion
variants or extraversion
: the state of or tendency toward being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self : a personality trait or style characterized by a preference for or orientation to engaging socially with others

Note: The psychologist C. G. Jung first introduced the terms extroversion, extrovert, introversion, and introvert in the early 1900s to describe personality types that focus a person's energy on either the inner or outer world.

compare introversion
extroversive adjective
or extraversive

More from Merriam-Webster on extroversion

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