Synonyms & Antonyms of insight

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About insight

How does the noun insight differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of insight are acumen, discernment, discrimination, penetration, and perception. While all these words mean "a power to see what is not evident to the average mind," insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy.

a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless

When is acumen a more appropriate choice than insight?

While in some cases nearly identical to insight, acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment.

a director of reliable box-office acumen

Where would discernment be a reasonable alternative to insight?

Although the words discernment and insight have much in common, discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art).

the discernment to know true friends

When could discrimination be used to replace insight?

In some situations, the words discrimination and insight are roughly equivalent. However, 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

When would penetration be a good substitute for insight?

The words penetration and insight can be used in similar contexts, but penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial.

lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles

When can perception be used instead of insight?

While the synonyms perception and insight are close in meaning, perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling).

a novelist of keen perception into human motives

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about insight

Time Traveler for insight

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on insight

Dictionary: Definition of insight

Medical Dictionary: Definition of insight

Nglish: Translation of insight for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on insight

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!