in·​sight | \ ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio) \

Definition of insight

1 : the power or act of seeing into a situation : penetration
2 : the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively

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Choose the Right Synonym for insight

discernment, discrimination, perception, penetration, insight, acumen mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art). the discernment to know true friends discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent. the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling). a novelist of keen perception into human motives penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial. lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy. a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment. a director of reliable box-office acumen

Examples of insight in a Sentence

… I had a big insight and a little insight about the book. — Rust Hills, Esquire, April 1973 … realizing this gave me no insight into how to correct it. — Bartley McSwine, Change, May–June 1971 … might well offer fresh insights as to the character and extent of the social adaptation involved. — George C. Barker, ETC, Summer 1945 He is a leader of great insight. The author analyzes the problem with remarkable insight. I had a sudden insight. Her book provides us with fresh new insights into this behavior.
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Recent Examples on the Web Sign up for our election newsletter for insight and analysis from our reporters and columnists. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "Bob Woodward Finally Got Trump to Tell the Truth About COVID-19," 11 Sep. 2020 Read about Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida and Pennsylvania, and sign up for The Trailer and get more states, plus more news and insight from the trail, in your inbox three days a week. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Joe Biden’s very manly campaign," 11 Sep. 2020 Subscribers get access to the full version of our Express Briefing newsletter, which includes exclusive insight and links to more of our best stories., "Express Briefing: Schools don't have to post coronavirus case counts online anymore," 10 Sep. 2020 The coronavirus pandemic may well usher in a period of catastrophic destruction, but difficult revelations can also be a spur to insight and action. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "The End of the University," 8 Sep. 2020 Neumann is one of the best play-by-play broadcasters in the business and Adubato, the colorful, storytelling former Magic coach, always provided insight and entertainment. Mike Bianchi,, "New coach Mike Norvell has turned FSU into Free Speech University | Commentary," 6 Sep. 2020 Both cover the Windsors' recent history, featuring plenty of Princess Diana content—and, in the final episode, some insight into the younger generation (hello, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle!). Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Diana Advocates for AIDS Patients—Much to the Queen's Dismay—in a Clip from CNN's The Windsors," 5 Sep. 2020 And also very near and dear to the hearts of young football players, participating coaches have had plans at the proverbial training table with joint team meals, to gain insight and perspective, along with thousands of calories. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "‘Building the Bridge’ continues at Shaker Heights football home opener with Kirtland," 4 Sep. 2020 McCain is a valuable veteran who has played a lot of snaps and is embracing the opportunity to share his six seasons of insight and experience with the Dolphins to teammates during training camp. Safid Deen,, "Dolphins training camp Day 8: Stock up, stock down and three stars," 26 Aug. 2020

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

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First Known Use of insight

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for insight

Time Traveler

The first known use of insight was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Insight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for insight


How to pronounce insight (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of insight

: the ability to understand people and situations in a very clear way
: an understanding of the true nature of something


in·​sight | \ ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio) \

Kids Definition of insight

1 : the ability to understand a person or a situation very clearly
2 : the understanding of the truth of a situation


in·​sight | \ ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio) \

Medical Definition of insight

1 : understanding or awareness of one's mental or emotional state or condition
2 : immediate and clear understanding (as seeing the solution to a problem or the means to reaching a goal) that takes place without recourse to overt trial-and-error behavior

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