in·​sight ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio)
: the power or act of seeing into a situation : penetration
: the act or result of apprehending the inner nature of things or of seeing intuitively
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.
Recent Examples on the Web Tomlin is one of several heavy-hitters whose interviews and comedy clips provide insight into both the barriers in place and the subversive ways many comics got around them. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 June 2024 Still, Danielle had a knack for using social media to frame astrological insights in the context of self-care and self-healing, which resonated with her followers. Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone, 14 June 2024 These artists bring unique perspectives and profound insights into the intricate relationship between humans and nature. Photovogue, Vogue, 14 June 2024 Our experts provided insight into safe ingredients (and which ones to avoid) and hair types and textures in kids. Ashley Ziegler, Parents, 13 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for insight 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'insight.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near insight

Cite this Entry

“Insight.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


in·​sight ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio)
: the power or act of seeing into or understanding a situation

Medical Definition


in·​sight ˈin-ˌsīt How to pronounce insight (audio)
: understanding or awareness of one's mental or emotional state or condition
: 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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