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 Justin and Christian gave me this book that gave me a lot more insight into all the details of life during that time. Angela Dawson, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 The vantage point from watching the games on TV gave him different insight too. Meghan Montemurro,, 13 Sep. 2021 Peace might seem to be the opposite of war, but Freud, deriving insight from the Greek example, recognized eros as the antithesis of humanity’s instinct for destruction. Los Angeles Times, 13 Sep. 2021 But first, the team focused on curating Scene in Black’s presence on Twitter and Instagram with content about the shows and specials on their platform, as well as insight from the talent and creatives behind them. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 13 Sep. 2021 And Smith gave us insight into her personal, off-camera style. Vogue, 10 Sep. 2021 On the bench, veterans and young players alternated seats so the older players could share insight during games., 10 Sep. 2021 Keane and other Trump appointees joined appointees of former President Obama, and each of them brought different skills and insight to the table, Keane explained. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, 10 Sep. 2021 An insight or surprise could cause a favorable change of direction. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 9 Sep. 2021

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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Learn More About insight

Time Traveler for insight

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for insight



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

More from Merriam-Webster on insight

Nglish: Translation of insight for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of insight for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about insight


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