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

Set up meetings and visit people and places that give insight into your alternatives. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: June 5, 2019," 5 June 2019 Later, writer Bill Shaikin adds more to the Dodgers discussion, giving some insight into his recent stories about the food at Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers’ failed attempt to place a minor league team in the San Fernando Valley., "Podcast: Are the Dodgers really this good?," 5 June 2019 The expecting mother accompanied the photo with a heartbreaking message that gave insight into a private family moment at an amusement park. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "‘Little People, Big World’ Star Tori Roloff Posts Heartfelt Message About Jackson on Instagram," 29 May 2019 The Cricosaurus bambergensis, named after the German town of Bamberg in which it was found, gives insight into how this group of ancient crocs evolved. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Jurassic Crocodile Ancestor Looks More Like a Dolphin Than a Croc," 5 Apr. 2019 The three warrants obtained by The Associated Press on Friday give new insight on the investigation into the slaying of Botham Jean, 26, who was fatally shot inside his apartment on Sept. 6 by off-duty Dallas Officer Amber Guyger. Ryan Tarinelli, Fox News, "Video sought in case of man shot in own home in Texas," 21 Sep. 2018 Yet fragments of insight survive in unexpected places: an aside in an 18th-century letter; a detail in a slave account or court record; an observation by a sociologist on an Indian reservation. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘Mother Is a Verb’ Review: What’s It Like to Be a Mom?," 9 May 2019 The former Fixer Upper star and his wife Joanna have been sharing plenty of sweet insights into their life with seven-month-old Crew. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Did the Sweetest Thing for an Expecting Mom," 24 Feb. 2019 So, basically, there's still interest in bringing in films that were popular (including some of our editors' favorite films, like Mamma Mia 2 and Paddington 2) but still not a ton of insight to do that. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Is There an Oscars "Popular Film" Category After All This Year?," 24 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for insight

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for insight

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

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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

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Comments on insight

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showing great care, attention, and effort

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