in·tro·spec·tion | \ˌin-trə-ˈspek-shən \

Definition of introspection 

: a reflective looking inward : an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings

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Other Words from introspection

introspect \ˌin-trə-ˈspekt \ verb
introspectional \ˌin-trə-ˈspek-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl \ adjective
introspective \ˌin-trə-ˈspek-tiv \ adjective
introspectively adverb
introspectiveness noun

Examples of introspection in a Sentence

a moment of quiet introspection not a man given to introspection, he grew impatient with his wife's constant need to discuss their relationship

Recent Examples on the Web

With a stuttering economy and a reputation for fostering jihad against its neighbors, the troubled nation needs a dose of introspection. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Will Imran Khan Turn Pakistan Into an Islamic Welfare State?," 12 July 2018 But Bourdain's support also came with a tinge of introspection. Sean Rossman, USA TODAY, "Why Anthony Bourdain was a #MeToo champion," 8 June 2018 She is saddened that during this time of national introspection on the treatment of women in our society, allegations about her private life have been published without her permission. Jason Hancock, Bryan Lowry And Lindsay Wise, kansascity, "Blackmail allegations put Greitens’ ability to govern, political future at grave risk | The Kansas City Star," 14 Jan. 2018 His pause for introspection was unusual and somewhat unexpected: The Rockets’ star loves nothing more than blowing off invasive questions, and his recent schedule has been a disorienting blur of Things Famous People Do. Ben Golliver,, "From Sixth Man to MVP: James Harden Reflects on Steady Climb to NBA Mountain Top," 26 June 2018 Dunn explores density, shape, rhythm, and tempo, with scenes ranging from slow introspection to manic activity., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 8 June 2018 So maybe — hopefully — missing the tournament has forced a necessary level of introspection and evaluation that wouldn’t have occurred if the U.S. had made its usual spirited but limited appearance. Rich Campbell,, "Missing World Cup can't be in vain for U.S. men's national team," 13 July 2018 Mauricio Martínez, who played Emilio at the end of the New York run, possesses a tenor capable of soft introspection or ceiling-scorching power. Daryl H. Miller,, "Review: 'On Your Feet!,' the Gloria and Emilio Estefan story, sets rhythms in irresistible motion," 11 July 2018 Cynically considered an overtly commercial album at the time, in retrospect, Jay-Z's laid-back flow over soul samples manages to evoke a sense of authenticity and introspection. Ira Madison Iii, GQ, "Everything Is Love Review: The Cost of a Monarchy," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'introspection.' 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 introspection

circa 1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for introspection

Latin introspectus, past participle of introspicere to look inside, from intro- + specere to look — more at spy

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Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for introspection

The first known use of introspection was circa 1677

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More Definitions for introspection



English Language Learners Definition of introspection

: the process of examining your own thoughts or feelings


in·tro·spec·tion | \-ˈspek-shən \

Medical Definition of introspection 

: an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings

Other Words from introspection

introspectional \-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl \ adjective

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Comments on introspection

What made you want to look up introspection? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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