om·​pha·​lo·​skep·​sis ˌäm(p)-fə-lō-ˈskep-səs How to pronounce omphaloskepsis (audio)
: contemplation of one's navel as an aid to meditation
omphaloskepsis practiced by Eastern mystics
also : navel-gazing
… a preponderance of emotional self-awareness has sent us sliding dangerously into omphaloskepsisFiona McCann

Examples of omphaloskepsis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In an especially gorgeous slow movement, Dudamel revealed Mahler’s ethereal omphaloskepsis as navel gazing with Buddha-level profundity. Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2021 The elite obsession with admissions policies at what are, after all, mostly elite institutions is omphaloskepsis-as-policy: The genuinely downtrodden are not applying to study at Haverford College. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 3 Aug. 2017

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

Word History


Greek omphalós "navel" + -o- -o- + sképsis "perception, taking notice, examination, inquiry," from skep-, base of sképtomai, sképtesthai "to look at, expect, observe, inquire" + -sis -sis — more at spy entry 1

First Known Use

1925, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of omphaloskepsis was in 1925

Dictionary Entries Near omphaloskepsis

Cite this Entry

“Omphaloskepsis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2024.

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